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S. G. & E. L. ELBERT 




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LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



BY 



HARRIET BEECHER STOW& 



153,000 COPXES,-3G6,000 VOLUMES, 



« 






BOSTON: 
JOHN P. JEWETT AND COMPANY. 

CLEVELAND, OHIO: 
JEWETT, PROCTOR & WORTHTNGTON. 

1852. 



' 






Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1S51, by 

HARRIET BEECIIER STOWE. 

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Maine. 



ITEKEOTTriS BT 

HOBART k ROBBING, 

KSW EKGLAHD TYPE AND STEKBOTYPB yOUITDlXT, 
BOSTON. 

nUOTED BT G£0. C. RASH, 40RXHELL. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 



Pa<re 

CHAPTER I. . . . , In which the Reader is introduced to a Man of Humanity, . 5 

CHAPTER II The Mother, 8 

CHAPTER III. . . * The Husband and Father, . .. v 10 

CHAPTER IV. . . » An Evening in Uncle Tom's Cabin, 11 

CHAPTER V. .... • Showing the Feelings of Living Property on changing Owners, 16 

CHAPTER VI. . .. . Discovert, . 19 

CHAPTER VII. . , * The Mother's Struggle, . , % . . 22 

CHAPTER VIII. m . . Eliza's Escape, 27 

CHAPTER IX. . .. • In which it appears that a Senator is but a Man, .... 32 

CHAPTER X. . . . The Property is carried off, 38 

CHAPTER XI. ... In which Property gets into an Improper State of Mind, . . 42 

CHAPTER XII. « * . Select Incident of Lawful Trade, 47 

CHAPTER XIII. . . * The Quaker Settlement, 53 

CHAPTER XIV. . * . Evangeline, 56 

CHAPTER XV. ... Of Tom's new Master, and Various other Matters, .... 59 

CHAPTER XVI. . . . Tom's Mistress and her Opinions, 65 

CHAPTER XVII. . . „ The Freeman's Defence, 72 

CHARTER XVIII. . « Miss Ophelia's Experiences and Opinions, 78 

CHAPTER XIX. . * . Miss Ophelia's Experiences and Opinions, Continued, .... 84 

CHAPTER XX. . . . Topsy, ........... 91 

CHAPTER XXI. . .„ . Kentuck, . . . . . 95 

CHAPTER XXII. . «, * "The Grass withereth — the Flower fadeth," 98 

CHAPTER XXIII. . . Henrique, ......... 101 

CHAPTER XXIV. . * Foreshadowings, ................ 103 

CHAPTER XXV. • „ * The Little Evangelist, . . . . . ......... 106 

CHAPTER XXVI. « „ Death, . . . 107 

CHAPTER XXVIlS . « « This is the Last of Earth," 112 

CHAPTER XXVIII. . . Re-union, ...... 115 

CHAPTER XXIX. . . Thb Unprotected, . . . « „ 120 

CHAPTER XXX. . . The Slave Warehouse, . . ; . 122 

CHAPTER XXXI. . ; The Middle Passage, ...*.„ 126 

CHAPTER XXXII. . „ Dark Places, ..,*♦*... 128 

CHAPTER XXXIII. . . Cassy, 131 

CHAPTER XXXIV. . . The Quadroon's Story, , , m , * , 134 

CHAPTER XXXV. . . The Tokens, .......... 138 

CHAPTER XXXVI. . * Emmelinb and Cassy, 140 

CHAPTER XXXVII. % Liberty, ......••,..• 142 

CHAPTER XXXVIII. . The Victory, .»*.».« 144 

CHAPTER XXXIX. . . The Stratagem, .•'..••••. 148 

CHAPTER XL. ... The Martyr, .,,.*.♦ 151 

CHAPTER XLI. ... The Young Master, 154 

CHAPTER XLTI. , . , An. Authentic Ghost Story, 156 

CHAPTER XLIII. . . Results, 158 

CHAPTER XLIV. , . The Liberator, . . . # . 161 

CHAPTER XLV. . . . Concluding Remarks, 102 



PREFACE. 



TnE scenes of this story, as its title indicates, lie among a race hitherto gnored by the associ- 
ations of polite and refined society ; an exotic race, whose ancestors, born beneath a tropic sun, 
brought with them, and perpetuated to their descendants, a character so esserftially unlike the hard 
and dominant Anglo-Saxon race, as for many years to have won from it only misunderstanding 
and contempt. 

But another and better day is dawning ; every influence of literature, of poetry and of art, in 
our times, is becoming more and more in unison with the great master chord of Christianity, 
" good will to man." 

The poet, the painter and the artist, now seek out and embellish the common and gentler 
humanities of life, and, under the allurements of fiction, breathe a humanizing and subduing 
influence, favorable to the development of the great principles of Christian brotherhood. 

The hand of benevolence is everywhere stretched out, searching into abuses, righting wrongs, 
alleviating distresses, and bringing to the knowledge and sympathies of the world the lowly, the 
oppressed, and the forgotten. 

In this general movement, unhappy Africa at last is remembered ; Africa, who began the race 
of civilization and human progress in the dim, gray dawn of early time, but who, for centuries, 
nas lain bound and bleeding at the foot of civilized and Christianized humanity, imploring com- 
passion in vain. 

But the heart of the dominant race, who have been her conquerors, her hard masters, has at 
length been turned towards her in mercy ; and it has been seen how far nobler it is in nations to 
protect the feeble than to oppress them. Thanks be to God, the world has at last outlived tho 
slave-trade ! 

The object of these sketches is to awaken sympathy and feeling for the African race, as they 
exist among us ; to show their wrongs and sorrows, under a system so necessarily cruel and 
unjust as to defeat and do away the good effects of all that can be attempted for them, by their 
best friends, under it. 

In doing this, the author can sincerely disclaim any invidious feeling towards those individuals 
who, often without any fault of their own, are involved in the trials and embarrassments of the 
legal relations of slavery. 

Experience has shown her that some of the noblest of minds and hearts are often thus involved ; 
and no one knows better than they do, that what may be gathered of the evils of slavery from 
sketches like these is not the half that could be told, of the unspeakable whole. 

In the northern states these representations may, perhaps, be thought caricatures ; in the 
southern states are witnesses who know their fidelity. What personal knowledge the author has 
had, of the truth of incidents such as here are related, will appear in its time. 

It is a comfort to hope, as so many of the world's sorrows and wrongs have, from age to age, 
been lived down, so a time shall come when sketches similar to these shall be valuable only as 
memorials of what has long ceased to be. 

When an enlightened and Christianized community shall have, on the shores of Africa, laws, 
language and literature, drawn from among us, may then the scenes of the house of bondage be to 
them like the remembrance of Egypt to the Israelite, — a motive of thankfulness to Him who 
hath redeemed them ! 

For, while politicians contend, and men are swerved this way and that by conflicting tides of 
interest and passion, the great cause of human liberty is in the hands of One, of whom it is said : 

■*' He shall not fail nor be discouraged 

Till He have set judgment in the earth/* 
" He shall deliver the needy when he crieth, 

The poor, and him that hath no helper." 
" He shall redeem their soul from deceit and Tiolenco, 

And precious shall their, blood be in His sight." 



UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: 



OR 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



CHAPTER I. 

IN WHICH THK READER IS INTRODUCED TO A IfAN 
OF HUMANITY. 

Late in the afternoon of a chilly day in Febru- 
ary, two gentlemen were sitting alone over their 
wine, in a well-furnished dining parlor, in the 

town of P , in Kentucky. There were no 

servants present, and the gentlemen, with chairs 
closely approaching, seemed, to be discussing some 
subject with great earnestness. 

For convenience sake, we have said, hitherto, 
two gentlemen. One of the parties, however, 
when critically examined, did not seem, strictly 
speaking, to come under the species. He was a 
short, thick-set man, with coarse, commonplace 
features, and that swaggering air of pretension 
which marks a low man who is trying to elbow 
his way upward in the world. He was much 
over-dressed, in a gaudy vest of many colors, a 
blue neckerchief, bedropped gayly with yellow 
spots, and arranged with a flaunting tie, quite in 
keeping with the general air of the man. His 
hands, large and coarse, were plentifully bedecked 
with rings ; and he wore a heavy gold watch- 
chain, with a bundle of seals of portentous size, 
and a great variety of colors, attached to it, — 
which, in the ardor of conversation, he was in the 
habit of flourishing and jingling with evident 
satisfaction. His conversation was in free and 
easy defiance of Murray's Grammar, and was 
garnished at convenient intervals with various 

Erofane expressions, which not even the desire to 
e graphic in our account shall induce us to 
transcribe. 

His companion, Mr. Shelby, had the appearance 
of a gentleman ; and the arrangements of the 
house, and the general air of the housekeeping, 
indicated easy, and even opulent circumstances. 
As we before stated, the two were in the midst of 
an earnest conversation. 

" That is the way I should arrange the matter," 
said Mr. Shelby. . 

"I can't make trade that way — T positively 
can't, Mr. Shelby," said the other, holding up a 
glass of wine between his eye and the light. 

" Why, the fact is, Haley, Tom is an uncom- 
mon fellow ; he is certainly worth that sum any- 
where, — steady, honest, capable, manages my 
whole farm like a clock." 



tl You mean honest, as niggers go," said Haley, 
helping himself to a glass of brandy. 

"•No ; I mean, really, Tom is a good, steady, 
sensible, pious fellow. He got religion at a 
camp-meeting, four years ago ; and I believe he 
really did get it. I've trusted him, since then, 
with everything I have, — money, house, horses, 

— and let him come and go round the country ; 
and I always found him true and square in every- 
thing." 

"Some folks don't believe there is pious niggers, 
Shelby," said Haley, with a candid flourish of his 
hand, " but I do. I had a fellow, now, in this yer 
last lot I took to Orleans — 'twas as good as a 
meetin, now, really, to hear that critter pray ; and 
he was quite gentle and quiet like. He fetched me 
a'good sum, too, for I bought him cheap of a man 
that was 'bliged to sell out ; so I realized six 
hundred on him. Yes, I consider religion a val- 
eyable thing in a nigger, when it 's the genuine 
article, and no mistake." 

" Well, Tom 's got the real article, if ever a 
fellow had," rejoined the other. " Why, last fall, 
I let him go to Cincinnati alone, to do business 
for me, and bring home five hundred dollars. 
'Tom,' says I to him, 'I trust you, because I 
think you 're a Christian — I know you wouldn't 
cheat.' Tom comes back, sure enough ; I knew 
he would. Some low fellows, they say, said to 
him — ' Tom, why don't you make tracks for Can- 
ada? ' ' Ah, master trusted me, and I could n't,' 

— they told me about it. I am sorry to part with 
Tom, I must say. You ought to let him cover the 
whole balance of the debt ; and you would, Hale}', 
if you had any conscience." 

" Well, I 've got just as much conscience as any 
man in business can afford to keep, — just a little, 
you know, to swear by, as 'twere," said the 
trader, jocularly; "and, then, I'm ready to do 
anything in reason to 'blige friends ; but this yer, 
you see, is a leetle too hard on a fellow — a leotle 
too hard." The trader sighed contemplatively, 
and poured out some more brandy. 

"Well, then, Haley, how will you trade 1 " 
said Mr. Shelby, after an uneasy interval of 
silence. 

"Well, haven't you a boy or gal that you 
could throw in with Tom? " 

" Hum ! — none that I could well spare : to tell 
the truth, it 's only hard necessity that makes mo 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN I OR, 



Willing to soil at all. T don't like parting with 
any of my hands, that 's a fact." 

Here the door opened, and a Rinall quadroon 
boy, between four anil five years of age, entered 
the room. There was something in His appear- 
ance remarkably beautiful and engaging. His 
black hair, fine as floss silk, hung in glossy curls 
about his round, dimpled face, while a pair of 
large dark eyes, full of fire and softness, looked 
out from beneath the rich, long lashes, as he 
peered curiously into the apartment. A gay robe 
of scarlet and yellow plaid, carefully made and 
neatly fitted, set off to advantage the dark and 
rich style of his beauty ; and a certain comic air 
of assurance, blended with bashfulness, showed 
that he had been not unused to being petted and 
noticed by his master. 

" llulloa, Jim Crow! " said Mr. Shelby, whis- 
tling, and snapping a bunch of raisins towards 
him, " pick that up, now ! " 

The child scampered, with all his little strength, 
after the prize, while his master laughed. 

" Come here, Jim Crow," said he. The child 
came up, and the master patted the curly head, 
and chucked him under the chin. 

" Now, Jim, show this gentleman how you can 
dance and sing." The boy commenced one of 
those wild, grotesque songs common among the 
negroes, in a rich, clear voice, accompanying his 
singing with many comic evolutions of the hands, 
feet, and whole body, all in perfect time to the 
music. 

" Bravo ! " said Haley, throwing him a quarter 
of an orange. 

" Now, Jim, walk like old Uncle Cudjoe, when 
he has the rheumatism," said bis master. ■ 

Instantly the flexible limbs of the child assumed 
the appearance of deformity and distortion, as, 
with his back humped up, and his master's stick 
in his hand, he hobbled about the room, his 
childish face drawn into a doleful pucker, and 
spitting from right to left, in imitation of an old 
man. 

Both gentlemen laughed uproariously. 

" Now, Jim," said his master, " show us how 
old Elder Robbins leads the psalm." The boy 
drew his chubby face down to a formidable length, 
and commenced toning a psalm tune through his 
nose, with imperturbable gravity. 

"Hurrah! bravo! what a young 'un!" said 
Haley ; " that chap 's a case, I '11 promise. Tell 
you what," said he, suddenly clapping his hand 
on Mr. Shelby's shoulder, " fling in that chap, 
and I'll settle the business — I will. Come, 
now, if that an't doing the thing up about the 
rightcst ! " 

At this moment, the door was pushed gently 
open, and a young quadroon woman, apparently 
about twenty-five, entered the room. 

There needed only a glance from the child to 
her, to identify her as its mother. There was the 
same rich, full, dark eye, with its long lashes ; 
the same ripples of silky black hair. The brown 
of her complexion gave way on the cheek to a 
perceptible flush, which deepened as she saw the 
g&'ze of the strange man fixed upon her in bold and 
undisguised admiration. Her dress was of the 
neatest possible fit, and set off to advantage her 
finely moulded shape ; — a delicately formed hand 
and a trim foot and ankle were items of appear- 
ance that did not escape the quick eye of the 
trader, well used to run up at a glance the points 
of a fine female article. 



11 Well, Eliza 1 " said her master, as she stopped 
and looked hesitatingly at him. 

"I was looking for Harry, please, sir;" and 
the boybounded toward her, showing his spoils, 
which he had gathered in the skirt of his robe. 

" Well, take him away, then," said Mr. Shelby; 
and hastily she withdrew, carrying the child on 
her arm. 

" By Jupiter," said the trader, turning to him 
In admiration, " there 'b an article, now ! You 
might make your fortune on that ar gal in Orleans, 
any day. I 've seen over a thousand, in my day, 
paid down for gals not a bit handsomer." 

"I don't want to make my fortune on her," 
said Mr. Shelby, dryly ; and, seeking to turn the 
conversation, he uncorked a bottle or fresh wine, 
and asked his companion's opinion of it. 

" Capital, sir, — first chop ! " said the trader; 
then turning, and slapping his hand familiarly on 
Shelby's shoulder, he added — 

" Come, how will you trade about the gal? — 
what shall I say for her — what '11 you take ? " 

11 Mr. Haley, she is not to be sold," said Shelby. 
" My wife would not part with her for her weight 
in gold." 

" Ay, ay ! women always say such things, causo 
they ha'nt no sort of calculation. Just show 'em 
how many watches, feathers and trinkets, one's 
weight in gold would buy, and that alters the 
case, /reckon." 

"I tell you, Haley, this must not be spoken 
of; I say no, and I mean no," said Shelby, decid- 
edly. 

" Well, you '11 let me have the boy, though, 7 ' 
said the trader ; " you must own I 've come down 
pretty handsomely for him." 

* l What on earth can you want with the child 1 " 
said Shelby. 

" Why, I 've got a friend that 's going into this 
yer branch of the business — wants to buy up 
handsome boys to raise for the market. Fancy 
articles entirely — sell for waiters, and so on, to 
rich 'uns, that can pay for handsome 'uns. Ife 
sets off one of yer great places — a real handsome 
boy to open door, wait, and tend. They fetch a 
good sum ; and this little devil is such a comical, 
musical concern, he 's just the article." 

" I would rather not sell him," said Mr. Shelby, 
thoughtfully; "the fact is, sir, I 'ma humane 
man, and I hate to take the boy from his mother, 



sir. 



" , you do ? — La ! yes — something of thai! 
ar natur. I understand perfectly. It is mighty 
onpleasant getting on w r ith women, sometimes. I 
al'ays hates these yer screechin', screamin' times. 
They are mighty onpleasant ; but, as I manages 
business, I generally avoids 'em, sir. Now, what 
if you get the girl off for a day, or a week, or so ; 
then the thing's done quietly, — all over before 
she comes home. Your w r ife might get her some 
ear-rings, or a new gown, or some such truck, to 
make up with her." 

" I 'm afraid not." 

"Lor bless ye, yes! These critters an't like 
white folks, you know ; they gets over things, only 
manage right. Now, they say," said Haley, as- 
suming a candid and confidential air, " that this 
kind o' trade is hardening to the feelings ; but I 
never found it so. Fact is, I never could do things 
up the way some fellers manage the business. 
I 've seen 'em as would pull a woman's child out 
of her arms, and set him up to sell, and she 
screechin' like mad all the time ; — very bad pol- 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



damages the article 



icy 

fit for service sometimes. 



•makes 'em quite un- 
I knew a real handsome 
gal once, in Orleans, as "was entirely ruined by 
this sort o' handling. The fellovr that was trading 
for her did n't want her baby ; and she was one 
of your real high sort, when her blood was up. I 
tell you she squeezed up her child in her arms, 
and talked, and went on real awful. It kinder 
makes my blood run cold to think on't ; and when 
they carried off the child, and locked her up, she 
jest went ravin' mad, and died in a week. Clear 
waste, sir, of a thousand dollars, just for want of 
management, — there 's where 't is. It 's always 
best to do the humane thing, sir ; that 's been my 
experience." And the trader leaned back in his 
chair, and folded his arms, with an air of virtuous 
decision, apparently considering himself a second 
Wilberforce. 

The subject appeared to interest the gentleman 
deeply ; for while Mr. Shelby was thoughtfully 

Eeeling an orange, Haley broke out afresh, with 
ecoming diffidence, but as if actually driven by 
the force of truth to say a few words more. 

" It don't look well, now, for a feller to be 
praisin' himself; but I say it jest because it 's the 
truth. I believe I'm reckoned to bring in about 
the finest droves of niggers that is brought in, — 
at least, I 've been told so ; if 1 have once, I reckon 
I have a hundred times, — all in good case, — fat 
and likely, and I lose as few as any man in the 
business. And I lays it all to my management, 
sir ; and humanity, sir, I may say, is the, great 
pillar of my management.'* 

Mr. Shelby did not know what to say, and so 
he said, " Indeed! " * 

" Now, I 've been laughed at for my notions, 
sir, and I 've been talked to. They an't pop'lar, 
and they an't common; but I stuck to 'em, sir; 
I 've stuck to 'em, and realized well on 'em ; yes, 
sir, they have paid their passage, I may say," 
and the trader laughed at his joke. 

There was something so piquant and original 
in these elucidations of humanity, that Mr. Shelby 
could not help laughing in company. Perhaps 
you laugh too, dear reader ; but you know human- 
ity comes out in a variety of strange forms now-a- 
days, and there is no end to the odd things that 
humane people will say and do. 

Mr. Shelby's laugh encouraged the trader to 
proceed. 

" It 's strange, now, but I never could beat this 
into people's heads. Now, there was Tom Lo- 
ker, my old partner, down in Natchez ; he was a 
clever fellow, Tom was, only the very devil with 
niggers — on principle 'twas, you see, for a 
better hearted feller never broke bread ; 't was 
his system, sir. I used to talk to Tom. * Why, 
Tom,' I used to say, 'when your gals takes on 
and cry, what 's the use o' crackin on 'em over 
the head, and knockin' on 'em round? It's 
ridiculous,' says I, * and don't do no sort o' good. 
Why, I don't see no harm in their cryin',' says 
I ; ' it 's natur,' says I, * and if natur can't blow off 
one way, it will another. Besides, Tom,' says I, 
4 it jest spiles your gals ; they get sickly, and 
down in the mouth ; and sometimes they gets 
ugly, — particular yallow gals do, — and it 's the 
devil and all gettin' on 'em broke in. Now,' says 
I, ' why can't you kinder coax 'em up, and speak 
'em fair? Depend on it, Tom, a little humanity, 
thrown in along, goe3 a heap further than all your 
jawin' and crackin' ; and it pays better,' says I, 
4 depend on 'fc.' But Tom could n't get the hang 



on 't ; and he spiled so many for me, that I had to 
break off with him, though he was a good-hearted 
fellow, and as fair a business hand as is goin'." 

44 And do you find your ways of managing do 
the business better than Tom's?" said Mr. 
Shelby. 

44 Why, yes, sir, I may say so. You see, when 
I any ways can, I takes a leetle care about the 
onpleasant parts, like selling young uns and that, 
— get the gals out of the way — out of sight, 
out of mind, you know, — and when it 's clean 
done, and can't be helped, they naturally gets 
used to it. 'Tan't, you know, as if it was white 
folks, that 's brought up in the way of 'spectin' 
to keep their children and wives, and all that. 
Niggers, you know, that 's "fetched up properly, 
ha'n't no kind of 'spectations of no kind ; so all 
these things comes easier." 

44 1 'm afraid mine are not properly brought 
up, then," said Mr. Shelby. • 

44 S'pose not ; you Kentucky folks spile your 
niggers. You mean well by 'em, but 'tan't no 
real kindness, arter all. Now, a nigger, you see, 
what 's got to be hacked and tumbled round the 
world, and sold to Tom, and Dick, and the Lord 
knows who, 'tan't no kindness to be givin' on 
him notions and expectations, and bringin' on 
him up too well, for the rough and tumble comes 
all the harder on him arter. Now, I venture to 
say, your niggers would be quite chop-fallen in a 
place where some of your plantation niggers 
would be singing and whooping like all possessed. 
Every man, you know, Mr. Shelby, naturally 
thinks well of his own ways ; and I think I treat 
niggers just about as well as it "s ever worth while 
to treat 'em." 

" It 's a happy thing to be satisfied," said Mr. 
Shelby, with a slight shrug, and some perceptible 
feelings of a disagreeable nature. 

" Well," said Haley, after they had both silently 
picked their nuts for a season, " what do you 
say ? ' ' 

44 1 '11 think the matter over, and talk with my 
wife," said Mr. Shelby. 4 ' Meantime, Haley, if 
you want the matter carried on in the quiet way 
you speak of, you 'd best not let your business in 
this neighborhood be known. It will get out 
among my boys, and it will not be a particularly 
quiet business getting away any of my fellows, 
if they know it, I '11 promise you." 

" ! certainly, by all means, mum \ of course. 
But I '11 tell you, I 'm in a devil of a hurry, and 
shall want to know, as soon as possible, what I 
may depend on," said he, rising and putting on 
his overcoat. 

44 Well, call up this evening, between six and 
seven, and you shall have my answer," said Mr. 
Shelby, and the trader bowed himself out of the 
apartment. 

44 1 'd like to have been able to kick the fellow 
down the steps," said ho to himself, as he saw 
the door fairly closed, " with his impudent as- 
surance ; but he knows how much he has me at 
advantage. If anybody had ever said to me that 
I should sell Tom down south to one of 'those 
rascally traders, I should have said, * Is thy ser- 
vant a dog, that he should do this thing? : A 
now it must come, for aught I see. And Eliza's 
child, too ! I know that I shall have some fuss 
with wife about that ; and, for that matter, about 
Tom, too. So much for being in debt, — heigho ! 
The fellow sees his advantage, and means t> 
push it." 



8 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR, 



Perhaps the mildest form of the system of slav- 
ery is to be seen in the State of Kentucky. The" 
general prevalence of agricultural pursuits of a 
qtfict and gradual nature, not requiring those 
periodic seasons of hurry and pressure that are 
called for in the business of more southern dis- 
tricts, makes the task of the negro a more health- 
ful and reasonable one ; while the master, content 
with a more gradual stylo of acquisition, has not 
those temptations to hardheartedness which 
always overcome frail human nature when the 
prospect of sudden and rapid gain is weighed in 
the balance, with no heavier counterpoise than 
the interests of the helpless and unprotected. 

Whoever visits some estates there, and wit- 
nesses the good-humored indulgence of some 
masters and mistresses, and the affectionate loy- 
alty of some slaves, might be tempted to dream 
the oft-fabled poetic legend of a patriarchal in- 
stitution, and all that; but over and above the 
scene there broods a portentous shadow — the 
•ihadow of law. So long as the law considers all 
these human beings, with beating hearts and 
dying affections, only as so many things belonging 
to a master, — so long as the failure, or misfor- 
tune, or imprudence, or death of the kindest 
owner, may cause them any day to exchange a 
life of kind protection and indulgence for one of 
hopeless misery and toil, — so long it is impossi- 
ble to make anything beautiful or desirable in 
the best regulated administration of slavery. 

Mr. Shelby was a fair average kind of man, 
good-natured and kindly, and disposed to easy 
indulgence of those around him, and there had 
never been a lack of anything which might con- 
tribute to the physical comfort of the negroes on 
his estate. He had, however, speculated largely 
and quite loosely ; had involved himself deeply, 
and his notes to a large amount had come into 
the hands of Haley ; and this small piece of 
information is the key- to the preceding conversa- 
tion. 

Now, it so happened that, in approaching the 
door, Eliza had caught enough of the conversation 
to know that a trader was making offers to her 
master for somebody. 

She would gladly have stopped at the door to 
listen, as she came out ; but her mistress just 
then calling, she was obliged to hasten away. 

Still she thought she heard the trader make an 
offer for her boy ; — could she be mistaken ? Her 
heart swelled and throbbed, and she involuntarily 
strained him so tight that the little fellow looked 
up into her face in astonishment. 

" Eliza, girl, what ails you to-day?" said her 
mistress, when Eliza had upset the wash-pitcher, 
knocked down the work-stand, and finally was 
abstractedly offering her mistress a long night- 
gown in place of the silk dress she had ordered 
her to bring from the wardrobe. 

Eliza started. " 0, missis!" she said, raising 
her eyes ; then, bursting into tears, she sat down 
in a chair, and began sobbing. 

" Why, Eliza, ( child ! what ails you?" said her 
mistress. 

" ! missis, missis," said Eliza, " there 's 
been a trader talking with master in the parlor ! 
I heard him." 

" Well, silly child, suppose there has?" 

" 0, missis, do you suppose mas'r would sell 
my Harry?" And the poor creature threw her- 
self into a chair, and sobbed convulsively. 

" Sell him ! Nr, you foolish girl ! You know 



your master never deals with those southern 
traders, and never means to sell any of his ser- 
vants, as long as they behave well. Why, you 
silly child, who do you think would want to buy 
your Harry ? Do you think all the world are set 
on him as you are, you goosie ? Come, cheer up, 
and hook my dress. There now, put my back hair 
up in that pretty braid you learnt the other day, 
and don't go listening at doors any more." 

" Well, but, missis, you never would give jour 
consent — to — to — " 

** Nonsense, child! to be sure, I shouldn't 
What do you talk so for ? I would as soon have 
one of my own children sold. But really, Eliza, 
you are getting altogether too proud of that little 
fellow. A man can't put his nose into the door, 
but you think he must be coming to buy him." 

Reassured by her mistress' confident tone, Eliza 
proceeded nimbly and adroitly with her toilet, 
laughing at her own fears, as she proceeded. 

Mrs. Shelby was a woman of a high class, both 
intellectually and morally. To that natural mag- 
nanimity and generosity of mind which one often 
marks as characteristic of the women of Kentucky, 
she added high moral and religious sensibility and 
principle, carried out with great energy and abil- 
ity into practical results. Her husband, who 
made no professions to any particular religious 
character, nevertheless reverenced and respected 
the consistency of hers, and stood, perhaps, a 
little in awe of her opinion. Certain it was that 
he gave her unlimited scope in all her benevolent 
efforts for the comfort, instruction, and improve- 
ment of her servants, though he never took any 
decided part in them himself. In fact, if not 
exactly a believer in the doctrine of the efficiency 
of the extra good works of saints, he really seemed 
somehow or other to fancy that his wife had piety 
and benevolence enough for two, — to indulge a 
shadowy expectation of getting into heaven 
through her superabundance of qualities to which 
he made no particular pretension. 

The heaviest load on his mind, after his con* 
versation with the trader, lay in the foreseen 
necessity of breaking to his wife the arrangement 
contemplated, — meeting the importunities and 
opposition which he knew' he should have reason 
to encounter. 

Mrs. Shelby, being entirely ignorant of her 
[husband's embarrassments, and knowing only the 
general kindliness of his temper, had been quite 
sincere in the entire incredulity with which she 
had met Eliza's suspicions. In fact, she dismissed 
the matter from her mind, without a second 
thought ; and being occupied in preparations for 
an evening visit, it passed out of her thoughts 
entirely. 



CHAPTER Tl 

THE MOTHER, 

Eliza had been brought up by her mistress, 
from girlhood, as a petted and indulged favorite. 

The traveller in the south must often have 
remarked that peculiar air of refinement, that 
softness of voice and manner, which seems in 
many cases to be a particular gift to the quadroon 
and mulatto women. These natural graces in 
the quadroon are often united with beauty of the 
most dazzling kind, and in almost every case with 
a personal appearance prepossessing and agree- 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



able. Eliza, such as we have described her, is 
not a fancy sketch, but taken from remembrance, 
as Ave saw her, years ago, in Kentucky. Safe 
under the protecting care of her mistress, Eliza 
had reached Aaturity without those temptations 
which make beauty so fatal an inheritance to a 
slave. She had been married to a bright and 
talented young mulatto man, who was a slave on 
a neighboring estate, and bore the name of 
George Harris. 

This young man had been hired out by his 
master to work in a bagging factory, where his 
adroitness and ingenuity caused him to be con- 
sidered the first hand in the place. He had 
invented a machine for the cleaning of the hemp, 
which, considering the education and circum- 
stances of the inventor, displayed quite as much 
mechanical genius as Whitney's cotton-gin.* 

He was possessed of a handsome person and 
pleasing manners, and was a general favorite in 
the factory. Nevertheless, as this young man 
was in the eye of the law not a man, but a thing, 
all these superior qualifications were subject to 
the control of a vulgar, narrow-minded, tyranni- 
cal master. This same gentleman, having heard 
of the fame of George's invention, took, a ride 
over to the factory, to see what this intelligent 
chattel had been about. He was received with 
great enthusiasm by the employer, who congratu- 
lated him on possessing so valuable a slave. 

He was waited upon over the factory, shown 
the machinery by George, who, in high spirits, 
talked so fluently, held himself so erect, looked 
so handsome and manly, that his master began 
to feel an uneasy consciousness of inferiority. 
What business had his slave to be marching 
round the country, inventing machines, and hold- 
ing up his head among gentlemen? He 'd .soon 
Eut a stop to it. He 'd take him back, and put 
im to hoeing and digging, and " see if he 'd 
step about so smart." Accordingly, the manu- 
facturer and all hands concerned were astounded 
when he suddenly demanded George's wages, 
and announced his intention of taking him home. 

" But, Mr. Harris," remonstrated the manu- 
facturer, " is n't this rather sudden? " 

" What if it is \ — is n't the man mine ? " 

" We would be willing, sir, to increase the 
rate of compensation." 

" No object at ail, sir. I don't need to hire 
any of my hands out, unless I 've a mind to." 

" But, sir, he seems peculiarly adapted to this 
business." 

" Dare say he may be ; never was much 
adapted to anything that I set him about, I '11 be 
bound." 

" But only think of his inventing this machine," 
interposed one of the workmen, rather unluckily. 

"O yes! — a machine for saving work, is it? 
He 'd invent that, I '11 be bound ; let a nigger 
alone for that, any time. They are all labor-sav- 
ing machines themselves, every one of 'em. No, 
he shall tramp ! " 

George had stood like one transfixed, at hearing 
his doom thus suddenly pronounced by a power 
that he knew was irresistible. He folded his 
arms, tightly pressed in his lips, but a whole vol- 
cano of bitter feelings burned in his bosom, and 
sent streams of fire through his veins. He 
breathed short, and his large dark eyes flashed 
like live coals ; and he might have broken out 

* A machine of this description was really the invention 
of a young eolo~?d man in Kentucky. 



into some dangerous ebullition, had not the kindly 
manufacturer touched him on the arm, and said, 
in a low tone, 

" Give way, George ; go with him for the pres- 
ent. We '11* try to help you, yet." 

The tyrant observed the whisper, and conjee^ 
tured its import, though he could not hear what 
was said ; and he inwardly strengthened himself 
in his determination to keep the power he pos- 
sessed over his victim. 

George was taken home, and put to the mean- 
est drudgery of the farm. He had been able to 
repress every disrespectful word ; but the flashing 
eye, the gloomy and troubled brow, were part of 
a natural language that could not be repressed, — 
indubitable signs, which showed too plainly that 
the man could not become a thing. 

It was during the happy period of his employ- 
ment in the factory that George had seen and 
married his wife. During that period, — being 
much trusted and favored by his employer, — he 
had free liberty to come and go at discretion. 
The marriage was highly approved of by Mrs. 
Shelby, who, with a little womanly complacency 
in match-making, felt pleased to unite her hand- 
some favorite with one of her own class who 
seemed in every way suited to her ; and so they 
were married in her mistress' great parlor, and 
her mistress herself adorned the bride's beautiful 
hair with orange-blossoms, and threw over it the 
bridal veil, which certainly could scarce have 
rested on a fairer head ; and there was no lack of 
white gloves, and cake and wine, — of admiring 
guests to praise the bride's beauty, and her mis- 
tress' indulgence and liberality. For a year or 
two Eliza saw her husband frequently, and there 
was nothing to interrupt their happiness, except 
the loss of two infant children, to whom she was 
passionately attached, and whom she mourned 
with a grief so intense as to call for gentle remon- 
strance from her mistress, who sought, with ma- 
ternal anxiety, to direct her naturally passionate 
feelings Avithin the bounds of reason and religion. 

After the birth of little Harry, however, she 
had gradually become tranquillized and settled; 
and every bleeding tie and throbbing nerve, once 
more entwined with that little life, seemed to 
become sound and healthful, and Eliza was a 
happy woman up to the time that her husband 
was rudely torn from his kind employer, and 
brought under the iron sway of his legal owner. 

The manufacturer, true to his word, visited Mr. 
Harris a week or two after George had been taken 
away, when, as he hoped, the heat of the occasion 
had passed away, and tried every possible induce- 
ment to lead him to restore him to his former 
employment. 

"You needn't trouble yourself to talk any 
longer," said he, doggedly; "I know my own 
business, sir." 

" I did not presume to interfere with it, sir. I 
only thought that you might think it for you* 
interest to let your man to us on the terms pro- 
posed." 

" 0, I understand the matter well enough. I 
saw your winking and whispering, the day I took 
him out of the factory ; but you don't come it over 
me that way. It 's a free country, sir ; the man '» 
mine, and I do what I please with him, — that's 
it!" 

And so fell George's last hope ; — nothing 
before him but a life of toil and drudgery, ren- 
dered more bitter by eyery little smarting vexar 



10 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN I OH, 



tion and indignity which tyrannical ingenuity 
could devise. 

A very humane jurist onco said, Tho worst use 
you can put a man to is to hang him. No ; there 
is another use that a man can bo put to that is 
ttoksk! 



CHAPTER ILL 

TUB HUSBAND AND JATITER. 

Mrs. Shelby had gone on her visit, and Eliza 
stood in the veranda, rather dejectedly looking 
after the retreating carriage, when a hand was 
laid on« her shoulder. She turned, and a bright 
smile lighted up her fine eyes. 

" George, is it you? How you frightened me ! 
Well ; I am so glad you 's come ! Missis is gone 
to spend the afternoon ; so come into my little 
room, and we '11 have the time all to ourselves." 

Saying this, she drew him into a neat little 
apartment opening on the veranda, where she 
generally sat at her sewing, within call of her 
mistress. 

" How glad I am I — why don't you smile ? — 
and look at Harry — how he grows." The boy 
stood shyly regarding his father through his 
curls, holding close to the skirts of his mother's 
dress. " Isn't he beautiful? " said Eliza, lifting 
his long curls and kissing him. 

" I wish he 'd never been born ! " said George, 
bitterly. "I wish I'd never been botn my- 
self!" ^ 

Surprised and frightened, Eliza sat dovrn, 
leaned her head on her husband's shoulder, and 
burst into tears. 

" There now, Eliza, it 's too bad for me to make 
you feel so, poor girl ! " said he, fondly ; ** it 's 
too bad. 0, now I wish you never had seen me 
— you might have been happy ! " 

"George! George! how can you talk so? 
What dreadful thing has happened, or is going to 
happen ? I 'm sure we 've been very happy, till 
lately." 

" So we have, dear," said George. Then draw- 
ing his child on his knee, he gazed intently on his 
glorious dark eyes, and passed his. hands through 
nis long curls. 

" Just like you, Eliza ; and you are the hand- 
somest woman I ever saw, and the best one I ever 
wish to see ; but, 0, I wish I 'd never seen you, 
nor you me!" 

" 0, George, how can you ! " 

'" Yes, Eliza, it's all misery, misery, misery! 
My life is bitter as wormwood ; the very life is 
burning out of me. I 'm a poor, miserable, for- 
lorn drudge ; I shall only drag you down with me, 
that 's all. What 's the use of our trying to do 
anything, trying to know anything, trying to be 
anything? What 's the use of living? I wish I 
was dead ! " 

" 0, now, dear George, that is really wicked! 
I know how you feel about losing your place in 
the factory, and you have a hard master ; but pray 
be patient, and perhaps something — " 

' ' Patient ! ' ' said he , interrupting her ; ' ' have n't 
I been patient ? Did I say a word when he came 
and took me away, for no earthly reason, from 
the place where everybody was kind to me ? I 'd 
paid him truly every cent of my earnings, — and 
they all say I worked well." 

"Well, it is dreadful," said Eliza; "but, 
after all, he is your master, you know." 



" My master ! and who made him my master? 
That's what I think of — what right has ho to 
me ? I 'm a man as much as he is. I 'm abet- 
ter man than he is. I know more about business 
than ho does ; I am a better manager than he is ; 
I can read better than ho can ; I can write a 
better hand, — and I've learned it all myself, 
and no thanks to him, — I 'vo learned it in spito 
of him ; and now what right has he to make a 
dray-horse of me? — to take me from things I 
can do, and do better than he can, and put me to 
work that any horse can do ? He tries to do it ; 
he says he '11 bring me down and humble me, and 
he puts me to just the hardest, meanest and 
dirtiest work, on purpose ! " 

"0, George ! George ! you frighten me ! Why, 
I never heard you talk so ; I 'm afraid you '11 do 
something dreadful. I don't wonder at your 
feelings, at all; but 0, do be careful — do, do 
— for my sake — for Llarry's ! " 

" I have been careful, and I have been patient, 
but it 's growing worse and worse ; flesh and 
blood can't bear it any longer; — every chance 
he can get to insult and torment me, he takes. I 
thought I could do my work well, and keep on 
quiet, and have some time to read and learn out 
of work hours ; but the more he sees I can do, 
the more he loads on. He says that though I 
don't say anything, he sees I 've got the devil in 
me, and he means to bring it out; and one of 
these days it will come out in a way that ho 
won't like, or I 'm mistaken ! " 

" dear ! what shall we do ? " said Eliza, 
mournfully. 

" It was only yesterday," said George, " as I 
was busy loading stones into a cart, that young 
Mas'r Tom stood there, slashing his whip so near 
the horse that the creature was frightened. I 
asked him to stop, as pleasant as I could, — he 
just kept right on. I begged him again, and 
then he turned on me, and began striking me. I 
held his ha&d, and then he screamed and kicked 
and ran to his father, and told him that I was 
fighting him. He came in a rage, and said he 'd 
teach me who was my master ; and he tied me to a 
tree, and cut switches for young master, and told 
him that he might whip me till he was tired ; — 
and he did do it ! If I don't make him remember 
it, some time ! " and the hrow of the young man 
grew dark, and his eyes burned with an expression 
that made his young wife tremble. " Who made 
this man my master ? That 's what I want to 
know ! " he said. 

"Well," said Eliza, mournfully, "I always 
thought that I must obey my master and mistress, 
or I couldn't be a Christian." 

" There is some sense in it, in your case ; they 
have brought you up like a child, fed you, clothed 
you, indulged you, and taught you, so that you 
have a good education ; that is some reason why 
they should claim you. But I have been kicked 
and cuffed and sworn at, and at the best only let 
alone ; and what do I owe ? I 've paid for all my 
keeping a hundred times over. 1 ivon't bear it. 
No, I won't ! " he said, clenching his hand with 
a fierce frown. 

Eliza trembled, and was silent. She had never 
seen her husband in this mood before ; and her 
gentle system of ethics seemed to bend like a 
reed in the surges of such passions. 

" You know poor little Carlo, that you gavo 
me," added George ; " the creature has been about 
all the comfort that I 'vo had. He has slept with 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



11 



me nights, and followed me around days, and 
kind o' looked at me as if he understood how I felt. 
"Well, the other day I was just feeding him with 
a few old scraps I picked up by the kitchen door, 
and Mas'r came along, and said I was feeding him 
up at his expense, and that he could n't afford to 
have every nigger keeping his dog, and ordered 
me to tie a stone to his neck and throw him in 
the pond." 

" 0, George, you did n't do it !" 

" Do it? not I — but he did. Mas'r and Tom 
pelted the poor drowning creature with stones. 
Poor thing ! he looked at me so mournful, as if he 
wondered why I didn't save him. I had to take 
a flogging because I wouldn't do it myself. I 
don't care. Mas'r will find out that I 'm one that 
whipping won't tame. My day will come yet, if 
he don't look out." 

u What are you going to do? 0, George, don't 
do anything wicked ; if you only trust in God, 
and try to do right, he '11 deliver you." 

" I an't a Christian, like you, Eliza ; my heart 's 
full of bitterness ; I can't trust in God. Why 
does he let things be so?" 

" 0, George, Ave must have faith. Mistress 
says that when all things go wrong to us, we 
must believe that God is doing the very best." 

" That 's easy to say for people that are sitting 
on their sofas and riding in their carriages ; but 
let 'em be where I am, I guess it would come 
some harder. I wish I could be good ; but my 
heart burns, and can't be reconciled, anyhow. 
You could n't, in my place, — you can't now, if I 
tell you all I 've got to say. You don't know the 
whole yet." 

" What can be coming now ?" 

" Well, lately Mas'r has been saying that he 
was a fool to let" me marry off the place ; that he 
hates Mr. Shelby and all his tribe, because they 
are proud, and hold their heads up above him, and 
that I 've got proud notions from you ; and he 
says he won't let me come here any more, and 
that I shall take a wife and settle down on his 
place. At first he only scolded and grumbled 
these things ; but yesterday he told me that I 
should take Mina for a wife, and settle down 
in a cabin with her, or he would sell me down 
river." 

" Why — but you were married to me, by the 
minister, as much as if you 'd been a white 
man ! " said Eliza, simply. 

" Don't you know a slave can't be married? 
There is no law in this country for that ; I can't 
hold you for my wife, if he chooses to part us. 
That 's why I wish I 'd never seen you, — why I 
wish I 'd never been born ; it would have been 
better for us both, — it would have been better 
for this poor child if he had never been born. All 
this may happen to him yet !" 

" 0, but master is so kind !" 

" Yes, but who knows ? — he may die — and 
then he may be sold to nobody knows who. What 
pleasure is it that he is handsome, and smart, and 
bright? I tell you, Eliza, that a sword will pierce 
through your soul for every good and pleasant 
thing your child is or has ; it will make him 
worth too much for you to keep ! ' ' 

The words smote heavily on Eliza's heart ; the 
vision of the trader came before her eyes, and, as 
if some one had struck her a deadly blow, she 
turned pale and gasped for breath. She looked 
nervously out on the veranda, where the boy, tired 
of the grave conversation, had retired, and where 



m 



he was riding triumphantly up and down on Mr. 
Shelby's walking-stick. She would have spoken 
to tell her husband her fear3, but checked herself. 

" No, no, — he has enough to bear, poor fel- 
low!" she thought. "No, I won't tell him; 
besides, it an't true ; Missis never deceives us." 

"So, Eliza, my girl," said the husband, mourn- 
fully, "bear up, now; and good-by, for I'm 
going." 

" Going, George ! Going where ?" 

"To Canada," said he, straightening himself 
up ; " and when I 'm there, I '11 buy you ; that 's 
all the hope that 's left us. You have a kind 
master, that won't refuse to sell you. I '11 buy 
you and the boy ; — God helping me, I will !" 

"0, dreadful ! if you should be taken?" 

" I won't be taken, Eliza ; I '11 die first ! 
be free, or I'll die !" 

" You won't kill yourself!" 

"No need of that. They will kill me, fast 
enough ; they never will get me down the river 
alive !" 

"0, George, for my sake, do be careful! 
Don't do anything wicked ; don't lay hands on 
yourself, or anybody else ! You are tempted too 
much — too much ; but don't — go you must — 
but go carefully, prudently ; pray God to help 
you." 

" Well, then, Eliza, hear my plan. Mas'r 
took it into his head to send me right by here, 
with a note to Mr. Symmes, that lives a mile 
past. I believe he expected I should come here 
to tell you what I have. It would please him, 
if he thought it would aggravate ' Shelby's folks,' 
as he calls 'em. I 'm going home quite resigned, 
you understand, as if all was over. I 've got some 
preparations made, — and there are those that 
will help me ; and, in the course of a week or so, 
I shall be among the missing, some day. Pray 
for me, Eliza ; perhaps the good Lord will hear 
you." 

"0, pray yourself, George, and go trusting in 
Him ; then you won't do anything wicked." 

"Well, now, good-by," said George, holding 
Eliza's hands, and gazing into her eyes, without 
moving. They stood silent ; then there were 
last words, and sobs, and bitter weeping, — such 
parting as those may make whose hope to meet 
again is as the spider's web, — and the husband 
and wife were parted. 



CHAPTER IV. 

AN EVENING IN UNCLE TOll's CABIN. 

The cabin of Uncle Tom was a small log build- 
ing, close adjoining to " the house," as the negro 
par excellence designates his master's dwelling. 
In front it had a neat garden-patch, where, every 
summer, strawberries, raspberries, and a variety 
of fruits and vegetables, flourished under careful 
tending. The whole front of it was covered by a 
larpre scarlet bignonia and a native multiflora 
rose, which, entwisting and interlacing, left 
scarce a vestige of the rough logs to be seen. 
Here, also, in summer, various brilliant annuals, 
such as marigolds, petunias, four-o 'clocks, found 
an indulgent corner in which to unfold their 
splendors, and were the delight and pride of 
Aunt Chloe's heart. 

Let us enter the dwelling. The evening meal 
at the house is over, and Aunt CMoe, who pre- 



12 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN .* OR, 



sided over its preparation as head cook, has left 
to inferior officers in the kitchen the business of 
clearing away and washing dishes, and come out 
into her own nnu<r territories, to "get her ole man's 
supper ; " therefore, doubt not that it is she you 
see by the fire, presiding with anxious interest 
over certain frizzling items in a stew-pan, and 
anon with grave consideration lifting the cover 
of a bake-kettle, from whence steam forth in- 
dubitable intimations of " something good." A 
round, black, shining face is hers, so glossy as to 
suggest the idea that she might have been 
washed over with white of eggs, like one of her 
own tea rusks. Her whole plump countenance 
beams with satisfaction and contentment from 
tinder her well-starched checked turban, bearing 
on it, however, if we must confess it, a little 
of that tinge of self-consciousness which becomes 
the first cook of the neighborhood, as Aunt Chloe 
iras universally held and acknowledged to be. 

A cook she certainly was, in the very bone and 
centre of her soul. Not a chicken or turkey or 
duck in the barn-yard but looked grave when 
they saw her approaching, and seemed evidently 
to bo reflecting on their latter end ; and certain 
it was that she was always meditating on truss- 
ing, stuffing and roasting, to a degree that was 
calculated to inspire terror in any reflecting fowl 
living:. Her corn-cake, in all its varieties of hoe- 
cake, dodgers, muffins, and other species too 
numerous to mention, was a sublime mystery to 
all less practised compounders ; and she would 
shake her fat sides with honest pride and merri- 
ment, as she would narrate the fruitless efforts 
that one and another of her compeers had made 
to attain to her elevation. 

The arrival of company at the house, the 
arranging of dinners and suppers " in style," 
awoke all the energies of her soul ; and no sight 
was more welcome to her than a pile of travel- 
ling trunks launched on the veranda, for then 
she foresaw fresh efforts and fresh triumphs. 

Just at present, however, Aunt Chloe is look- 
ing into the bake-pan ; in which congenial opera- 
tion we shall leave her till we finish our picture 
of the cottage. 

In one corner of it stood a bed, covered neatly 
with a snowy spread ; and by the side of it was 
a piece of carpeting, of some considerable size. 
On this piece of carpeting Aunt Chloe took her 
stand, as being decidedly in the upper walks of 
life ; and it and the bed by which it lay, and the 
whole corner, in fact, were treated with distin- 
guished consideration, and made, so far as pos- 
sible, sacred from the marauding inroads and 
desecrations of little folks. In fact, that corner 
was the drawing-room of the establishment. In 
the other corner was a bed of much humbler pre- 
tensions, and evidently designed for use. The 
wall over the fireplace was adorned with some 
yery brilliant scriptural prints, and a portrait of 
General Washington, drawn and colored in a 
manner which would certainly have astonished 
that hero, if ever he had happened to meet with 
its like. 

On a rough bench in the corner, a couple of 
woolly-headed boys, with glistening black eyes 
and fat shining cheeks, were busy in superin- 
tending the first walking operations of the baby, 
which, as "is usually the case, consisted in get- 
ting upon its feet, balancing a moment, and then 
tumbling down, — each successive failure being 
violently cheered, as something decidedly clever. 



• A table, somewhat rheumatic in its limbs, was 
drawn out in front of the fire, and covered with 
a cloth, displaying cups and saucers of a decid- 
edly brilliant pattern, with other symptoms of an 
approaching meal. At this table was seated 
Uncle Tom, Mr. Shelby's best hand, who, as he 
is to be the hero of our story, we must daguer- 
reotype for our readers. He was a large, broad- 
chested, powerfully-made man, of a full glossy- 
black, and a face whose truly African features 
were characterized by an expression of gravo 
and steady good sense, united with much kindli- 
ness and benevolence. There was something 
about his whole air self-respecting and dignified, 
yet united with a confiding and humble simplic- 

He was very busily intent at this moment on a 
slate lying before him, on which he was carefully 
and slowly endeavoring to accomplish a copy of 
some letters, in which operation he was over- 
looked bv young Mas'r George, a smart, bright 
boy of thirteen, who appeared fully to realize tho 
dignity of his position as instructor. 

" Not that way, Uncle Tom, — not that way," 
said he, briskly, as Uncle Tom laboriously brought 
up the tail of his g the wrong side out ; " that 
makes a </, you see." 

"La sakes, noAv, does if?" said Uncle Tom, 
looking with a respectful, admiring air, as his 
young teacher flourishingly scrawled t/'s and g-'s 
innumerable for his edification ; and then, taking 
the pencil in his big, heavy fingers, he patiently 
re-commenced. 

"How easy white folks al'us does things!" 
said Aunt Chloe, pausing while she was greasing 
a griddle with a scrap of bacon on her fork, and 
regarding young Master George with pride. 
"The w r ay he can write, now! and read, too! 
and then to come out here evenings and read his 
lessons to us, — it 's mighty interestin' !" 

"But, Aunt Chloe, I'm getting mighty hun- 
gry," said George. "Isn't that cake in tha 
skillet almost done?" 

" Mose done, Mas'r George," said Aunt Chloe, 
lifting the lid and peeping m, — " browning beau- 
tiful — a real lovely brown. Ah! let me alone 
for dat. Missis let Sally try to make some cake, 
t'other day, jes to lam her, she said. ' 0, go 
way, Missis,' says I ; ' it really hurts my fcelin's, 
now, to see good vittles spiled dat ar way ! Cako 
ris all to one side — no shape at all ; no moro 
than my shoe ; — go way ! ' ' 

And with this final expression of contempt for 
Sally's greenness, Aunt Chloe whipped the cover 
off the bake-kettle, and disclosed to view a neatly- 
baked pound-cake, of which no city confectioner 
need to have beon ashamed. This being evident- 
ly the central point of the entertainment, Aunt 
Chloe began now to bustle about earnestly in tho 
supper department. 

"Here you, Mose and Pete! get out de way, 
you niggers! Get away, Polly, honey, — mam- 
my '11 give her baby somefin, by and by. Now, 
Mas'r George, you jest take off dem books, and 
set down now Avith my old man, and I "11 take up 
de sausages, and have de first griddle full of cakes 
on your plates in less dan no time." 

"They wanted me to come to supper in the 
house," said George; "but I knew what was 
what too well for that, Aunt Chloe." 

" So you did — so you did, honey," said Aunt 
Chloe, heaping the smoking batter-cakes on his 
plate ;." you know'd your old aunty 'd keep the 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLT. 



13 



best for you. O, let you alone for dat ! Go 
way!" And, with that, aunty gave George a 
nudge with her finger, designed to be immensely 
facetious, and turned again to her griddle with 
great briskness. 

" Now for the cake," said Master George, when 
the activity of the griddle department had some- 
what subsided ; and, with that, the youngster 
flourished a large knife over the article in ques- 
tion. 

" La bless you, Mas'r George ! " said Aunt 
Chloe, with earnestness, catching his arm, "you 
would n't be for cuttin' it wid dat ar great heavy 
knife ! Smash all down — spile all de pretty rise 
of it. Here, I 've got a thin old knife, I keeps 
sharp a purpose. Dar now, see ! comes apart 
light as a feather! Now eat away — you won't 
get anything to beat dat ar." 

" Tom Lincon says," said George, speaking 
with his mouth full, " that their Jinny is a bet- 
ter cook than you." 

" Dem Lincons an't much count, no way!" 
Said Aunt Chloe, contemptuously ; " I mean set 
along side our folks. They 's 'spectable folks 
enough in a kinder plain way ; but, as to gettin' 
up anything in style, they don't begin to have a 
notion on 't. Set Mas'r Lincon, now, alongside 
Mas'r Shelby! Good Lor! and Missis Lincon, — 
can she kinder sweep it into a room like my mis- 
sis, — so kinder splendid, yer know ! 0, go way ! 
don't tell me nothin' of dem Lincons!" — and 
Aunt Chloe tossed her head as one who hoped she 
did know something of the world. 

" Well, though, I Ve heard you say," said 
George, " that Jinny was a pretty fair cook." 

"So I did," said Aunt Chloe, — "I may say 
dat. Good, plain, common cookin', Jinny '11 do ; 
— make a good pone o' bread, — bile her taters 
far, — her corn cakes is n't extra, not extra, now, 
Jinny's corn cakes isn't, but then they 's far, — 
but, Lor, come to de higher branches, and what 
can &h.e do! Why, she makes pies — sartin she 
does ; but what kinder crust ? Can she make 
your real flecky paste, as melts in your mouth, 
and lies all up like a puff? Now, I went over 
thar when Miss Mary was gwine to \>e married, 
and Jinny she jest showed me de weddin' pies. 
Jinny and I is good friends, ye know. I never 
Said nothin' ; ftut go long, Mas'r George ! Why, 
I ghouldn't sleep a wink for a week, if I had a 
batch of pies like dem ar. Why, dey wan't no 
'count 'tall." 

" I suppose Jinny thought they were ever so 
idee," said George. 

" Thought so ! — did n't she ? Thar she was, 
showing 'em, as innocent — ye see, it's jest here, 
Jinny don't know. Lor, the family an't nothing ! 
She can't be spected to know ! 'Ta'nt no fault o" 
tiern. Ah, Mas'r George, you does n't know half 
your privileges in yer family and bringin' up!" 
Here Aunt Chloe sighed, and rolled up her eyes 
With emotion. 

" I 'm sure, Aunt Chloe, I understand all my 
*>ie and pudding privileges," said George-. " Ask 
Tom Lincon if I don't crow over him, every time 
I meet him." 

Aunt Chloe sat back in her chair, and indulged 
Sn a hearty guffaw of laughter, at this witticism 
of young Mas'r's, laughing till the tears rolled 
down her black, shining cheeks, and varying the 
exercise with playfullv slapping and poking Mas'r 
Georgey, and telling nim to go way, and that he 
was a case — that he was fit to kill her, and that 



he sartin would kill her, one of these days ; and, 
between each of these sanguinary predictions, 
going off into a laugh, each longer and stronger 
than the other, till George really began to think 
that he was a very dangerously witty fellow, and 
that it became him to be careful how he talked 
" as funny as he could." 

" And so ye telled Tom, did ye ? 0, Lor ! what 
young uns will be up ter ! Ye crowed over Tom ? 
0, Lor! Mas'r George, if ye wouldn't make a 
hornbug laugh ! ' ' 

"Yes," said George, " I says to him, 'Tom, 
you ought to see some of Aunt Chloe 's pies ; 
they 're the right sort,' says I." 

" Pity, now r , Tom couldn't," said Aunt Chloe, 
on whose benevolent heart the idea of Tom's be- 
nighted condition seemed to make a strong im- 
pression. " Ye oughter just ask him here to din- 
ner, some o' these times, Mas'r George," she 
added ; " it would look quite pretty of ye. Ye 
know, Mas'r George, ye oughtenter feel 'bove no- 
body, on 'count yer privileges, 'cause all our 
privileges is gi'n to us; we ought al'ays to 
'member that," said Aunt Chloe, looking quit© 
serious. 

"Well, I mean to ask Tom here, some day- 
next week," said George ; " and you do your 
prettiest, Aunt Chloe, and we '11 make him stare. 
Won't we make him eat so he won't get over it 
for a fortnight ? ' ' 

"Yes, yes — sartin," said Aunt Chloe, de- 
lighted ; " you '11 see. Lor ! to think of some of 
our dinners ! Yer mind dat ar great chicken pie I 
made when we guv de dinner to General Knox? 
I and Missis, we come pretty near quarrelling 
about dat ar crust. What does get into ladies 
sometimes, I don't know ; but, sometimes, when 
a body has de heaviest kind o' 'sponsibility on 
em, as ye may say, and is all kinder ' seris ' and 
taken up, dey takes dat ar time to be hangin' 
round and kinder interferin' ! Now, Missis, she 
wanted me to do dis way, and she wanted me to 
do dat way; and, finally, I got kinder sarcy, and, 
says I, ' Now, Missis, do jist look at dem beauti- 
ful white hands o' yourn, with long fingers, and 
all a sparkling with rings, like my white lilies 
when de dew is on 'em ; and look at my great 
black stumpin hands. Now, don't ye think dat 
de Lord must have meant me to make de pie-crust, 
and }'0u to stay in de parlor ? ' Dar ! I was jisi 
so sarcy, Mas'r George." 

" And what did mother say?" said George. 

" Say? — why, she kinder larfed in her eyes — 
dem great handsome eyes o' hern ; and, says she, 
' Well, Aunt Chloe, I think you are about in the 
right on 't,' says she ; and she went off in de par- 
lor. She oughter cracked me over de head for 
bein' so sarcy ; but dar 's whar 'tis — I can't db 
nothin' with ladies in de kitchen!" 

" Well, you made out well with that dinner, — 
I remember everybody said so," said George. 

"Didn't I? And wan't I behind de dinin'- 
room door dat bery day? and didn't I see de 
General pass his plate three times for some more 
dat berry pie ? — and, says he, 'You must have 
an uncommon cook, Mrs. Shelby.' Lor! I wa$ 
fit to split myself. 

" And de Gineral, he knows what cookin' is," 
said Aunt Chloe, drawing herself up with an air. 
" Berry nice man, de Gineral ! He comes of one 
of de bery fustest families in Old Virginny ! He 
knows what 's what, now, as well as I do — de 
Gineral. Ye see, there 's pints in all pies, Mas'r 



14 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR, 



George ; but tan't everybody knowa what they is, 
or orter he. But the Cineral, ho knows ; I knew 
by his 'marks he made. Yes, he knows what de 
pints is !" 

By this time, Master George had arrived at that 
pass to which even a boy can come (under uncom- 
mon circumstances), when he really could not 
cat another morsel ; and, therefore, he was at lei- 
sure to notice the pile of woolly heads and glisten- 
ing eyes which were regarding their operations 
hungrily from the opposite corner. 

" Here, you Mose, Pete," he said, breaking off 
liberal bits and throwing it at them ; " you want 
some, don't you? Come, Aunt Chloe, bake them 
some cakes." 

And George and Tom moved to a comfortable 
seat in the chimney-corner, while Aunt Chloe. 
after baking a goodly pile of cakes, took her baby 
on her lap, and began alternately filling its mouth 
and her own, and distributing to Mose and Pete, 
who seemed rather to prefer eating theirs as they 
rolled about on the floor under the table, tickling 
each other, and occasionally pulling the baby's 
toes. 

" ! go long, will ye?" said the mother, giv- 
ing now and then a kick, in a kind of general 
way, under the table, when the movement became 
too obstreperous. " Can't ye be decent when 
white folks comes to see ye ? Stop dat ar, now, 
will ye. Better mind yerselves, or I '11 take ye 
down a button-hole lower when Mas'r George is 
gone ! " 

What meaning was couched under this terri- 
ble threat, it is difficult to say ; but certain it is 
ihat its awful indistinctness seemed to produce 
very little impression on the young sinners 
addressed. 

" La, now!" said Uncle Tom, "they are so 
full of tickle, all the while, they can't behave 
theirselves." 

Here the boys emerged from under the table, 
and, with hands and faces well plastered with 
molasses, began a vigorous kissing of the baby. 

" Get along wid ye !" said the mother, pushing 
away their woolly heads. " Ye '11 all stick to- 
gether, and never get clar, if ye do dat fashion. Go 
long to de spring and wash yerselves !" she said, 
seconding her exhortations by a slap, which re- 
sounded very formidably, but which seemed only 
to knock out so much more laugh from the young 
ones, as they tumbled precipitately over each 
other out of doors, where they fairly screamed 
with merriment. 

"Did ye ever see such aggravating young 
mis? " said Aunt Chloe, rather complacently, as, 
producing an old towel, kept for such emergencies, 
she poured a little water out of the cracked tea- 
pot on it, and began rubbing off the molasses 
from the baby's face and hands ; and, having 
polished her till she shone, she set her down in 
Tom's lap, while she busied herself in clearing 
away supper. The baby employed the intervals 
in pulling Tom's nose, scratching his face, and 
burying her fat hands in his woolly hair, which 
last operation seemed to afford her special 
content. 

" An' t she a peart young un ?" said Tom, hold- 
ing her from him to take a full-length view ; then, 
getting up, he set her on his broad shoulder, and 
began capering and dancing with her, while 
Mas'r George snapped at her with his pocket- 
handkerchief, and Mose and Pete, now returned 
again, roared after her like bears, till Aunt Chloe 



declared that they " fairly took her head off" 
with their noise. As, according to her own 
statement, this surgical operation was a matter of 
daily occurrence in the cabin, the declaration no 
whit abated the merriment, till every one had 
roared and tumbled and danced themselves down 
to a state of composure. 

" Well, now, I hopes you 're done," said Aunt 
Chloe, who had been busy in pulling out a rudo 
box of a trundle-bed ; " and now, you Mose and 
you Pete, get into thar ; for we 's goin' to havo 
the meetin'." 

"0, mother, we don't wanter. We wants to 
sit up to meetin', — meetin's is so curious. We 
likes 'em." 

" La, Aunt Chloe, shove it under, and let 'em 
sit up," said Mas'r George, decisively, giving a 
push to the rude machine. 

Aunt Chloe, having thus saved appearances, 
seemed highly delighted to push the thing under, 
saying, as she did so, " Well, mebbe 'twill dp 
'em some good." 

The house now resolved itself into a committee 
of the whole, to consider the accommodations and 
arrangements for the meeting. 

" What we 's to do for cheers, now, Jdeelar I 
don't know," said Aunt Chloe. As the meet- 
ing had been held at Uncle Tom's, weekly, for an 
indefinite length of time, without any more 
" cheers," there seemed some encouragement to 
hope that a way would be discovered at present. 

" Old Uncle Peter sung bothde legs out of dat 
oldest cheer, last week," suggested Mose. 

" You go long ! I '11 boun' you pulled 'em out; 
some o' your shines," said Aunt Chloe. 

" Well, it '11 stand, if it only keeps jam up agin, 
de wall !" said Mose. 

" Den Uncle Peter mus'n't sit in it, cause he 
al'ays hitches when he gets a singing. Ho 
hitched pretty nigh across de room, t' other 
night," said Pete. 

" Good Lor! get him in it, then," said Mose, 
" and den he 'd begin, ' Come saints and sinners, 
hear me tell,' and den down he'd go," — and 
Mose imitated precisely the nasal tones of the old 
man, tumbling on the floor, to illustrate the sup- 
posed catastrophe. 

" Come now, be decent, can't ye?" said Aunt 
Chloe ; " an't yer shamed?" 

Mas'r George, however, joined the offender in 
the laugh, and declared decidedly that Mose was 
a " buster." So the maternal admonition seemed 
rather to fail of effect. 

"Well, ole man," said Aunt Chloe, "you'll 
have to tote in them ar bar'ls." 

" Mother's bar'ls is like dat ar widders, Mas'r 
George was reading 'bout, in de good book, — dey 
never fails," said Mose, aside to Pete. 

"I'm sure one on 'em caved in last week," 
said Pete, " and let 'em all down in de middle of 
de singin' ; dat ar was failin', warnt it? " 

During this aside between Mose and Pete, two 
empty casks had been rolled into the cabin, and 
being secured from rolling, by stones on each side, 
boards were laid across them, which arrangement, 
together with the turning down of certain tubs 
and pails, and the disposing of the rickety chairs, 
at last completed the preparation. 

" Mas'r George is such a beautiful reader, now, 
I know he '11 stay to read for us," said Aunt 
Chloe ; " 'pears like 't will be so much more intcr- 
estin'." 

George very readily consented, for your boy is 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



15 



always ready for anything that makes him of im- 
portance. | 

The room was soon filled with a motley assem- 
blage, from the old gray-headed patriarch of 
eighty, to the young girl and lad of fifteen. A 
little harmless gossip ensued on various themes, 
such as where old Aunt Sally got her new red 
head-kerchief, and how " Missis was a going to 
give Lizzy that spotted muslin gown, when she 'd 
got her new berage made up;" and how Mas'r 
Shelby was thinking of buying a new sorrel colt, 
that was going to prove an addition to the glories 
of the place. A few of the worshippers belonged 
to families hard by, who had got permission to 
attend, and who brought in various choice scraps 
of information, about the sayings and doings at 
the house and on the place, which circulated as 
freely as the same sort of small change does in 
higher circles. 

After a while, the singing commenced, to the 
evident delight of all present. Not even all the 
disadvantage of nasal intonation could prevent the 
effect of the naturally fine voices, in airs at once 
wild and spirited. The words were sometimes 
the well-known and common hymns sung in the 
churches about, and sometimes of a wilder, more 
indefinite character, picked up at camp-meetings. 

The chorus of one of them, which ran as fol- 
lows, was sung with great energy and unction : 

*' Die on the field of battle, 
Die on the field of battle, 
Glory in my soul." 

Another special favorite had oft repeated the 
words — 

«« I 'm going to glory, — won't you come along with 

mel 
Don't you see the angels beck'ning, and a calling me 

away 1 
Don't you see the golden city and the everlasting 

day!" 

There were others, which made incessant men- 
tion of " Jordan's banks," and " Canaan's fields," 
and the " New Jerusalem ;" for the negro mind, 
impassioned and imaginative, always attaches 
itself to hymns and expressions of a vivid and 
pictorial nature ; and, as they sung, some laughed, 
and some cried, and some clapped hands, or shook 
hands rejoicingly with each other, as if they had 
fairly gained the other side of the river. 

Various exhortations, or relations of experience, 
followed, and intermingled with the singing. 
One old gray-headed woman, long past work, but 
much revered as a sort of chronicle of the past, 
rose, and leaning on her staff, said — 

"Well, chil'en! Well, I'm mighty glad to 
hear ye all and see ye all once more, 'cause I 
don't know when I '11 be gone to glory ; but I 've 
done got ready, chil'en; 'pears -like I 'd got my 
little bundle all tied up, and my bonnet on, jest a 
waitin' for the stage to come along and take me 
home ; sometimes, in the night, I think I hear the 
wheels a rattlin', and I'm lookin' out all the 
time ; now, you jest be ready too, for I tell ye all, 
chil'en," she said, striking her staff hard on the 
floor, " dat ar glory is a mighty thing! It's a 
mighty thing, chil'en, — you don'no nothing 
about it, — it's wonderful." And the old crea- 
ture sat down, with streaming tears, as wholly 
overcome, while the whole circle struck up — 

" Canaan, bright Canaan, 
I 'm bound for the land of Canaan.** 



Mas'r George, by request, read the last chap- 
ters of Revelation, often interrupted by such 
exclamations as " The sakes now !" " Only hear 
that!" "Jest think on't!" "Is all that a 
comin' sure enough?" 

George, who was a bright boy, and well trained 
in religious things by his mother, finding him- 
self an object of general admiration, threw in 
expositions of his own, from time to time, with a 
commendable seriousness and gravity, for which 
he was admired by the young and blessed by the 
old ; and it was agreed, on all hands, that " a 
minister couldn't lay it off better than he did ;" 
that " 'twas reely 'mazin' !" 

Uncle Tom was a sort of patriarch in religious 
matters, in the neighborhood. Having, naturally, 
an organization in which the morale was strongly 
predominant, together with a greater breadth and 
cultivation of mind than obtained among his com- 
panions, he was looked up to with great respect, 
as a sort of minister among them ; and the simple, 
hearty, sincere style of his exhortations might 
have edified even .better educated persons. But 
it was in prayer that he especially excelled. 
Nothing could exceed the touching simplicity, the 
child-like earnestness, of his prayer, enriched 
with the language of Scripture, which seemed so 
entirely to have wrought itself into his being, as 
to have become a part of himself, and to drop 
from his lips unconsciously ; in the language of a 
pious old negro, he " prayed right up." And so 
much did his prayer always work on the devo- 
tional feelings of his audiences, that there seemed 
often a danger that it would be lost altogether in 
the abundance of the responses which broke out 
everywhere around him. 

While this scene was passing in the cabin of 
the man, one quite otherwise passed in the halls 
of the master. 

The trader and Mr. Shelby were seated together 
in the dining room afore-named, at a table covered 
with papers and writing utensils. 

Mr. Shelby was busy in counting some bun- 
dles of bills, which, as they were counted, he 
pushed over to the trader, who counted them 
likewise. 

"All fair," said the trader ; " and now for sign- 
ing these yer." 

Mr. Shelby hastily drew the bills of sale to- 
wards him, and signed them, like a man that 
hurries over some disagreeable business, and then 
pushed them over with the money. Haley pro- 
duced, from a well-worn valise, a parchment, 
which, after looking over it a moment, he handed 
to Mr. Shelby, who took it with a gesture of sup- 
pressed eagerness. 

" Wal, now, the thing 's done ! " said the trader, 
getting up. 

"It's done!" said Mr. Shelby, in a musing 
tone ; and, fetching a long breath, he repeated" 
"It's done!" 

" Yer don't seem to feel much pleased with it, 
'pears to me," said the trader. 

" Haley," said Mr. Shelby, " I hope you '11 re- 
member that you promised, on your honor, you 
wouldn't sell Tom, without knowing what sort 
of hands he 's going into." 

"Why, you've just done it, sir," said the 
trader. 

" Circumstances, you well know, obliged me,*' 
said Shelby, haughtily. 



16 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR, 



"Wal, you know, they may 'blige me, too," 
said the ijader. " Ilowsomever, I '11 do the very 
best T can in gottin' Tom a good berth ; as to my 
treatin' on him bad, you needn't be a grain 
afoard. If there 's anything that I thank the 
Lord for, it is that I 'm never noways cruel." 

After the expositions which the trader had 
previously given of his humane principles, Mr. 
Shelby did not feel particularly reassured by 
ihese declarations ; but, as they were the best 
comfort the case admitted of, he allowed the 
trader to depart in silence, and betook himself to 
a solitary cigar. 



CHAPTER V. 

SHOWING THE FEELINGS OF LIVING PROPERTY ON 
CHANGING OWNERS. 

Mr. and Mrs. Shelby had retired to their apart- 
ment for the night. He was lounging in a large 
easy-chair, looking over some letters that had 
come in the afternoon mail, and she was standing 
before her mirror, brushing out the complicated 
braids and curls in which Eliza had arranged her 
hair ; for, noticing her pale cheeks and haggard 
eyes, she had excused her attendance that night, 
and ordered her to bed. The employment, natu- 
rally enough, suggested her conversation with the 
girl in the morning ; and, turning to her husband, 
she said, carelessly, 

" By the by, Arthur, who was that low-bred 
fellow that you lugged in to our dinner-table to- 
day?" 

"Haley is his name," said Shelby, turning 
himself rather uneasily in his chair, and continu- 
ing with his eyes fixed on a letter. 

" Haley ! Who is he, and what may be his 
business here, pray?" 

" Well, he 's a man that I transacted some 
business with, last time I was at Natchez," said 
Mr. Shelby. 

" And he presumed on it to make himself quite 
at home, and call and dine here, ay?" 

" Why, I invited him; I had some accounts 
with him," said Shelby. 

" Is he a negro-trader?" said Mrs. Shelby, no- 
ticing a certain embarrassment in her husband's 
manner. 

"Why, my dear, what put that into your 
head?" said Shelby,' looking up. 

"Nothing, — only Eliza came in here, after 
dinner, in a great worry, crying and taking on, 
and said you were talking with a trader, and that 
she heard him make an offer for her boy — the 
ridiculous little goose !" 

"She did, hey?" said Mr. Shelby, returning 
to his paper, which he seemed for a few moments 
quite intent upon, not perceiving that he was 
holding it bottom upwards. 

" It will have to come out," said he, mentally ; 
" as well now as ever." 

" I told Eliza," said Mrs. Shelby, as she con- 
tinued brushing her hair, " that she was a little 
fool for her pains, and that you never had any- 
thing to do with that sort of persons. Of course, 
I knew you never meant to sell any of our people, 
— least of all, to such a fellow." 

" Well, Emily," said her husband, " so I have 
always felt and said ; but the fact is that my busi- 
ness lies so that I cannot get on without. I shall 
have to sell some of my hands." 



"To that creature? Impossible! Mr. Shelby . 
you cannot be serious." 

" I 'm sorry to say that I am," said Mr. Shel- 
by. " I 'vc agreed to sell Tom." 

" What ! our Tom ? — that good, faithful crea- 
ture? — been your faithful servant from a boy ! 
0, Mr. Shelby ! — and you have promised him his 
freedom, too, — you and I have spoken to him a 
hundred times of it. Well, I can believe anything 
now, — I can believe now that you could sell lit- 
tle Harry, poor Eliza's only child!" said Mrs. 
Shelby, in a tone between grief and indignation. 

" Well, since you must know all, it is so. I 
have agreed to sell Tom and Harry both ; and I 
don't know why I am to be rated, as if I were a 
monster, for doing what every one does every 
day." 

" But why, of all others, choose these?" said 
Mrs. Shelby. " Why sell them, of all on the 
place, if you must sell at all?" 

" Because they will bring the highest sum of 
ahy, — that 's why. I could choose another, if 
you say so. The fellow made me a high bid on 
Eliza, if that would suit you any better," said 
Mr. Shelby.' 

" The wretch !" said Mrs. Shelby, vehemently. 

" Well, I did n't listen to it, a moment, — out 
of regard to your feelings, I wouldn't ; — so give 
me some credit." 

" My dear," said Mrs. Shelby, recollecting her- 
self, " forgive me. I have been hasty. I was 
surprised, and entirely unprepared for this ; — 
but surely you will allow me to intercede for these 
poor creatures. Tom is a noble-hearted, faithful 
fellow, if he is black. I do believe, Mr. Shelby, 
that if he were put to it, he would lay down his 
life for you." 

"I know it, — I dare say; — but what 's the 
use of all this ? —I can't help myself." 

" Why not make a pecuniary sacrifice? I'm 
willing to bear my part of the inconvenience. 0, 
Mr. Shelby, I have tried — tried most faithfully, 
as a Christian woman should — to do my duty to 
these poor, simple, dependent creatures. I have 
cared for them, instructed them, watched over 
them, and known all their little cares and joys, 
for years ; and how can I ever hold up my head 
again among them, if, for the sake of a little 
paltry gain, we sell such a faithful, excellent, 
confiding creature as poor Tom, and tear from 
him in a -moment all we have taught him to love 
and value ? I have taught them the duties* of the 
family, of parent and child, and husband and 
wife ; and how can I bear to have this open ac- 
knowledgment that we care for no tie, no duty, 
no relation, however sacred, compared with mon- 
ey ? I have talked with Eliza about her boy — 
her duty to him as a Christian mother, to watch 
over him, pray for him, and bring him up in a 
Christian way ; and now what can I say, if you 
tear him away, and sell him, soul and body, to a 
profane, unprincipled man, just to save a little 
money ? I nave told her that one soul is worth 
more than all the money in the world ; and how 
will she believe me when she sees us turn round 
and sell her child ? — sell him, perhaps, to certain 
ruin of body and soul !" 

" I 'm sorry you feel so about it, Emily, — in- 
deed I am," said Mr. Shelby , and I respect your 
feelings, too, though I don't pretend to share 
them to their full extent ; but I tell you now, 
solemnly, it's of no use — I can't help myself. 
I didn't mean to tell you this, Emily; but, in 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



17 



plain words, there is no choice between selling 
these two and selling everything. Either they 
must go, or all must. Haley has come into pos- 
session of a mortgage, which, if I don't clear off 
with him directly, will take everything before it. 
I 've raked, and scraped, and borrowed, and all 
but begged, — and the price of these two was 
needed to make up the balance, and I had to give 
them up. Haley fancied the child ; he agreed to 
settle the matter that way, and no other. I was 
in his power, and had to do it. If you feel so to 
have them sold,' would it be any better to have 
atfsold?" 

Mrs. Shelby stood like one stricken. Finally, 
turning to her toilet, she rested her face in her 
hands, and gave a sort of groan. 

"This is God's curse on slavery! — a bitter, 
bitter, most accursed thing ! — a curse to the 
master and a curse to the slave ! I was a fool 
to think I could make anything good out of such 
a deadly evil. It is a sin to hold a slave under 
laws like ours, — I always felt it was, — I always 
thought so when I was a girl, — I thought so 
still more after I joined the church ; but I thought 
I could gild it over, — I thought, by kindness, 
and care, and instruction, I could make the con- 
dition of mine better than freedom — fool that I 
was ! ' ' 

" Why, w T ife, you are getting to be an aboli- 
tionist, quite." 

" Abolitionist ! if they knew all I know about 
slavery, they might talk ! "We don't need them 
to tell us ; you know I never thought that slavery 
was right — never felt w r illing to own slaves." 

" Well, therein you differ from many wise and 
pious men," said Mr. Shelby. "You remember 
Mr. B.'s sermon, the other Sunday?" 

" I don't want to hear such sermons ; I never 
wish to hear Mr. B. in our church again. Min- 
isters can't help the evil, perhaps, — can't cure 
it, any more than we can, — but defend it ! — it 
always went against my common sense. And I 
think you did n't think much of that sermon, 
either." 

" Well," said Shelby; " I must say these min- 
isters sometimes carry matters further than we 
poor sinners would exactly dare to do. We men 
of the world must wink pretty hard at various 
things, and get used to a deal that isn't the exact 
thing. But we don't quite fancy, w r hen women 
and ministers come out broad and square, and go 
beyond us in matters of either modesty or morals, 
that 's«a fact. But now, my dear, I trust you see 
the necessity of the thing, and you see that I 
have done the very best that circumstances would 
allow." 

"0 yes, yes!" said Mrs. Shelby, hurriedly 
and abstractedly fingering her gold watch, — "I 
haven't any jewelry of any amount," she added, 
thoughtfully,; "but would not this watch do 
something? — it was an expensive one, when it 
was bought. If I could only at least save Eliza's 
child, I would sacrifice anything I have." 

" I 'm sorry, very sorry, Emily," said Mr. Shelby, 
" I 'in sorry this takes hold of you so ; but it will 
do no good. The fact is, Emily, the thing's 
done ; the bills of sale are already signed, and in 
Haley's hands ; and you must be thankful it is 
no worse. That man has had it in his power to 
ruin us all, — and now he is fairly off. If you 
knew the man as I do, you 'd think that we had 
had a narrow escape." 

" Is he so hard, then?" 
2 



"Why, not a cruel man, exactly, but a man 
of leather, — a man alive to nothing but trade 
and profit, — cool, and unhesitating, and unrelent- 
ing, as death and the grave. He 'd sell his own 
mother at a good percentage — not wishing tho 
old woman any harm, either." 

" And this wretch owns that good, faithful 
Tom, and Eliza's child !" 

"Well, my dear, the fact is that this goes 
rather hard with me ; it 's a thing I hate to think 
of. Haley wants to drive matters, and take pos- 
session to-morrow. I 'm going to get out my 
horse bright and early, and be off. I can't see 
Tom, that 's a fact ; and you had better arrange 
a drive somewhere, and carry Eliza off. Let the 
thing be done when she is out of sight." 

" No, no," said Mrs. Shelby; "I '11 be in no 
sense accomplice or help in this cruel business. 
I '11 go and see poor old Tom, God help him, in 
his distress ! They shall see, at any rate, that 
their mistress can feel for and with them. As to 
Eliza, I dare not think about it. The Lord for- 
give us ! What have we done, that this cruel 
necessity should come on us?" 

There was one listener to this conversation 
whom Mr. and Mrs. Shelby little suspected. 

Communicating with their apartment was a 
large closet, opening by a door into the outer 
passage. When Mrs. Shelby had dismissed Eliza 
for the night, her feverish and excited mind had 
suggested the idea of this closet ; and she had 
hidden herself there, and, »vith her ear pressed 
close against the crack of the door, had lost not 
a word of the conversation 

When the voices died into silence, she rose 
and crept stealthily away. Pale, shivering, with 
rigid features and compressed lips, she looked an 
entirely altered being from the soft and timid 
creature she had been hitherto. She moved cau- 
tiously along the entry, paused one moment at 
her mistress' door, and iaised her hands in mute 
appeal to heaven, and then turned and glided 
into her own room. It was a quiet, neat apart- 
ment, on the same floor with her mistress. There 
was the pleasant, sunny window, where she had 
often sat singing at her sewing ; there a little 
case of books, and various little fancy articles, 
ranged by them, the gifts of Christmas holidays ; 
there was her simple wardrobe in the closet and! 
in the drawers : — here was, in short, her home ; 
and, on the whole, a happy one it had been to- 
her. But there, on the be$, lay feer slumbering 
boy, his long curls falling negligently around his 
unconscious face, his rosy mouth half open, his 
little fat. hands thrown out over the bed-elothes, 
and a smile spread like a sunbeam o\er his whole 
face. 

" Poor boy ! poor fellow !" said Eliza ; they 
have sold you ! but your mother will save you 
yet!" 

No tear' dropped over that pillow ; in such 
straits as these, the heart has no tears to give, — 
it drops only blood, bleeding itself away in si- 
lence. She took a piece of paper and a pencil, 
and wrote, hastily, 

" 0, Missis ! dear Missis ! don't think me un- 
grateful, — don't think hard of me, any way, — 
I heard all you and master said to-night. I ana 
going to try to save my boy — you will not blam* 
me ! God bless and reward you for all your kind- 
ness !" 

Hastily folding and directing this, she went t« 
a drawer and made up a little package of cloth* 



18 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN \ OR, 



ing for her boy,*whioh she tied \vith a handker- 
chief firmly round her waist ; and, so fond is a 
mother's remembrance, that, even in the terrors 
of that hour, she did not forget to put in the 
little package one or two of his favorite toys, 
reserving a gayly painted parrot to amuse him, 
•when she should be called on to awaken him. It 
was some trouble to arouse the little sleeper ; but, 
after some effort, he sat up, and was playing with 
his bird, while his mother was putting on her 
bonnet and shawl. 

" Where are you going, mother? " said he, as 
she drew near the bed, with his little coat and 
cap. 

His mother drew near, and looked so earnestly 
into his eyes, that he at once divined that some- 
thing unusual was the matter. 

"Hush, Harry," she said; "mustn't speak 
loud, or they will hear us. A wicked man was 
coming to take little Harry away from his mother, 
and carry him 'way off in the dark ; but mother 
won't let him — she 's going to put on her little 
boy's cap and coat, and run off with him, so the 
mgly man can't catch him." 

Saying these words, she had tied and buttoned 
on the child's simple outfit, and, taking him in 
her arms, she whispered to him to be very still ; 
and, opening a door in her room which led into 
the outer veranda, she glided noiselessly out. 

It was a sparkling, frosty, star-light night, and 
the mother wrapped the shawl close round her 
child, as, perfectly quiet with vague terror, he 
clung round her neck. 

Old Bruno, a great Newfoundland, who slept 
at the end of the porch, rose, with a low growl, 
as she came near. She gently spoke his name, 
and the animal, an old pet and playmate of hers, 
instantly, wagging his tail, prepared to follow 
her, though apparently revolving much, in his 
simple dog's head, what such an indiscreet mid- 
night promenade might mean. Some dim ideas 
of imprudence or impropriety in the measure 
seemed to embarrass him considerably ; for he 
often stopped, as Eliza glided forward, and looked 
wistfully, first at her and then at the house, and 
then, as if reassured by reflection, he pattered along 
after her again. A few minutes brought them to 
the window of Uncle Tom's cottage, and Eliza, 
stopping, tapped lightly on the window-pane. 

The prayer-meeting at Uncle Tom's had, in the 
order of hymn-singing, been protracted to a very 
late hour ; and, as Unale Tom had indulged him- 
self in a few lengthy solos afterwards, the conse- 
quence was, that, although it was now between 
twelve and one o'clock, he and his worthy help- 
meet were not yejt asleep. 

" Good Lord ! what 's that?" said Aunt Chloe, 
starting up and hastily drawing the curtain. 
" My sakes alive, if it an't Lizy ! Get on your 
clothes, old man, quick! — there's old Bruno, 
too, a pa win' round ; what on airth ! I 'm gwine 
to open the door." 

And, suiting the action 1 to the word, the door 
flew open, and the light of the tallow candle, 
■which Tom had hastily lighted, fell on the hag- 
gard face, and dark, wild eyes of the fugitive. 

" Lord bless you ! — I 'm skeered to look at ye, 
Lizy ! Are ye tuck sick, or what 's come over 
ye?" 

"I'm running away — Uncle Tom and Aunt 
Chloe — carrying off my child — Master sold 
him!" 



"Sold him?" echoed both, lifting up their 
hands in dismay. 

"Yes, sold him!" said Eliza, firmly; "I 
crept into the closet by Mistress 1 door to-night, 
ami I heard Master tell Missis that he had sold 
my Harry, and you, Uncle Tom, both, to a trader ; 
and that he was going off this morning on his 
horse, and that the man was to take possession 
to-day." 

Tom had stood, during this speech, witli his 
hands raised, and his eyes dilated, like a man in 
a dream. Slowly and gradually, as its meaning 
came over him, he collapsed, rather than seated 
himself, on his old chair, and sunk his head down 
upon his knees. 

" The good Lord have pity on us !" said Aunt 
Chloe. " ! it don't seem as if it was true ! 
What has he done, that Mas'r should sell him?" 

" He has n't done anything, — it is n't for that. 
Master don't want to sell; and Missis — she's 
always good. I heard her plead and beg for us ; 
but he told her 't was no use ; that he was in this 
man's debt, and that this man had got the power 
over him ; and that if he did n't pay him off clear, 
it would end in his having to sell the place and 
all the people, and move off. Yes, I heard him 
say there was no choice between selling these two 
and selling all, the man was driving him so hard. 
Master said he was sorry; but 0, Missis — you 
ought to have heard her talk ! If she an't a 
Christian and an angel, there never was one. 
I 'in a wicked girl to leave her so ; but, then, I 
can't help it. She said, herself, one soul was 
worth more than the world ; and this boy has a 
soul, and if I let him be carried off, who knows 
what '11 become of it ? It must be right : but, if 
it an't right, the Lord forgive me, for I can't help 
doing it !" 

" Well, old man!" said Aunt Chloe, " why 
don't you go, too? Will you wait to be toted 
they kill niggers with hard 
Pda heap rather die than 
There 's time for ye, — be off' 
- you ve got a pass to come and go 
Come, bustle up, and I 11 get your 



down river, where 
work and starving? 
go there, any day ! 
with Lizy, 
any time. 



things together." 

Torn slowly raised his head, and looked sorrow- 
fully but quietly around, and said, 

" No, no — I an't going. Let Eliza go — it 's 
her right! I wouldn't be the one to say no — 
'tan't in natur for her to stay ; but you heard 
what she said ! If I must be sold or all the peo- 
ple on the place, and everything go to rack, w r hy, 
let me be sold. I s'pose I can bar it as well as 
any on 'em," he added, while something like a 
sob and a sigh shook his broad, rough chest con- 
vulsively. " Mas'r always found me on the spot 
— he always will. I never have broke trust, nor 
used my pass no ways contrary to my word, and I 
never will. It 's better for me alone to go, than 
to break up the place and sell all. Mas'r an't to 
blame, Chloe, and he '11 take care of you and the 
poor — ' ' 

Here he turned to the rough trundle-bed full of 
little woolly heads, and broke fairly down. Ho 
leaned over the back of the chair, and covered his 
face with his large hands. Sobs, heavy, hoarse and 
loud, shook the chair, and grcat^ars fell through 



; teai 
n Tic i 



his fingers on the floor : just sudfpears, sir, as you 
dropped into the coffin where lay your first-born 
son ; such tears, woman, as you shed when yon 
heard the cries of your dying babe. For, sir, he 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



19 



was a man, — and you are but another man. 
And, woman, though dressed in silk and jewels, 
you are but a woman, and, in life's great straits 
and mighty griefs, ye feel but one sorrow ! 

"And now," said Eliza, as she stood in the 
door, " I saw my husband only this afternoon, 
and I little knew then what was to come. They 
have pushed him to the very last standing-place, 
and he told me., to-day, that he was going to run 
away. Do try, if you can, to get word to him. 
Tell him how I went, and why I went ; and tell 
him I 'm going to try and find Canada. You must 
give my love to him, and tell him, if I never see 
him again," — she turned away, and stood with 
her back to them for a moment, and then added, 
hi a husky voice, " tell him to be as good as he 
can, and try and meet me in the kingdom of 
heaven." 

"Call Bruno in there," she added. "Shut 
the door on him, poor beast! He mustn't go 
with me !" 

A few last words and tears, a few simple adieus 
and blessings, and, clasping her wondering and 
affrighted child in her arms, she glided noiselessly 
away. • 



CHAPTER VI. 



DISCOVERY. 



Mr. and Mrs. Shelby, after their protracted 
discussion of the night before, did not readily sink 
to repose, and, in consequence, slept somewhat 
later than usual, the ensuing morning 

" I wonder what keeps Eliza," said Mrs. Shel- 
by, after giving her bell repeated pulls, to no 
purpose. 

Mr. Shelby was standing before his dressing- 
glass, sharpening his razor ; and just then the 
door opened, and a colored boy entered, with his 
shaving-water. 

"Andy," said his mistress, "step to Eliza's 
door, and tell her I have rung for her three 
times. "Poor thing!" she added, to herself, 
with a sigh. 

Andy soon returned, with eyes very wide in 
astonishment. 

" Lor, Missis ! Lizy's drawers is all open, and 
her things all lying every which way ; and I be- 
lieve she 's just done claied out !" 

The truth flashed upon Mr. Shelby and his wife 
at the saiie moment. He exclaimed, 

" Then she suspected it, and she 's off!" 

"The Lord be thanked!" said Mrs. Shelby. 
" I trust she is." 

" Wife, you -talk like a fool ! Really, it will 
be something pretty awkward for me, if she is. 
Haley saw that I hesitated about soiling this 
child, and he '11 think I connived at it, to get him 
out of the way. It touches my honor!" And 
Mr. Shelby left the room hastily. 

There was great running and ejaculating, and 
opening and shutting of doors, and appearance 
of faces in all shades of color in different places, 
for about a quarter of an hour. One person 
only, who might have shed some light on the mat- 
ter, was entirely silent, and that was the head 
cook, Aunt Chloe'J Silently, and with a heavy 
cloud settled down over her once joyous face, she 
proceeded making out her breakfast biscuits, as 
if she heard and saw nothing of the excitement 
around *hei\ 
, Very soon, about a dozen young imps were 



roosting, like so many crows, on the veranda 
railings, each one determined to be the first one 
to apprize the strange Mas'r of his ill luck. 

"He'll be rael mad, I'll be bound," said 
Andy. 

" Won't he swar!" said little black Jake. 
" Yes, for he does swar," said woolly-headed 
Mandy. " I hearn him yesterday, at dinner. I 
hearn all about it then, 'cause I got into the 
closet where Missis keeps the great jugs, and I 
hearn every word." And Mandy, who had never 
in her life thought of the meaning of a Avord she 
had heard, more than a black cat, now took airs 
of superior wisdom, and strutted about, forget- 
ting to state that, though actually coiled up 
among the jugs at the time specified, she had 
been fast asleep all the time. 

When, at last, Haley appeared, booted and 
spurred, he was saluted with the bad tidings on 
every hand. The young imps on the veranda 
were not disappointed in their hope of hearing 
him " swar," which he did with a fluency and 
fervency which delighted them all amazingly, as 
they ducked and dodged hither and thither, to be 
out of the reach of his riding-whip ; and, all 
whooping off together, they tumbled, in a pile of 
immeasurable giggle, on the withered turf under 
the veranda, where they kicked up their heels 
and shouted to their full satisfaction. 

" If I had the little devils !" muttered Haley, 
between his teeth. 

" But you ha'nt got 'em, though !" said Andy, 
with a triumphant flourish, and making a string 
of indescribable mouths at the unfortunate trader's 
back, when he was fairly beyond hearing. 

" I say now, Shelby, this yer 's a most extro'r- 
nary business," said Haley, as he abruptly en- 
tered the parlor. " It seems that gal 's off, with 
her young un." 

" Mr. Haley, Mrs. Shelby is present," said 
Mr. Shelby. 

" I beg pardon, ma'am," said Haley, bowing 
slightly, with a still lowering brow ; " but still I 
say, as [ said before, this yer 's a sing'lar report. 
Is it true, sir?" 

" Sir," said Mr. Shelby, " if you wish to com- 
municate with me, you must observe something 
of the decorum of a gentleman. Andy, take Mr. 
Haley's hat and riding-whip. Take a seat, sir. 
Yes, sir ; I regret to say that the young woman, 
excited by overhearing, or having reported to her, 
something of this business, has taken her child 
in the night, and made off." 

" I did expect fair dealing in this matter, I 
confess," said Haley. 

" Well, sir," said Mr. Shelby, turning sharply 
round upon him, "what am I to understand by 
that remark ? If any man calls my honor in ques- 
tion, I have but one answer 'for him." 

The trader cowered at this, and in a somewhat 
lower tone said that " it was plaguy hard on a 
fellow, that had made a fair bargain, to be gulled 
that way." 

" Mr. Haley," said Mr. Shelby, " if I did not 
think you kxl some cause for disappointment, I 
should not have borne from you the rude and un- 
ceremonious style of your entrance into my par- 
lor this morning. I say thus much, however, 
since appearances call for it, that I shall allow 
of no insinuations cast upon me, as if I were at 
all partner to any unfairness in this matter. 
Moreover, I shall feel bound to give you every 
assistance, in the use of horses, servants, &c, in 



20 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN I Oil, 



the recovery of your property. So, in short, Ha- 
ley,'" said he, suddenly dropping from the tone 
of dignified coolness to his ordinary one of easy 
frankness, " the best way for you is to keep good- 
natured and cat some breakfast, and we will then 
Bee what is to be done." 

Mrs. Shelby now rose, and said her engage- 
ments would prevent her being at the breakfast- 
table that morning ; and, deputing a very re- 
spectable mulatto woman to attend to the gen- 
tlemen's coffee at the side-board, she left the 
room. 

" Old lady don't like your humble servant, over 
and above," said Haley, with an uneasy effort to 
be very familiar. 

" I am not accustomed to hear my wife spoken 
of with such freedom," said Mr. Shelby, dryly. 

"Beg pardon; of course, only a joke, you 
know," said Haley, forcing a laugh. 

" Some jokes are less agreeable than others," 
rejoined Shelby. 

" Devilish free, now I 've signed those papers, 
cuss him!" muttered Haley to himself; "quite 
grand, since yesterday!" 

Never did fall of any prime minister at court 
occasion wider surges of sensation than the report 
of Tom's fate among his compeers on the place. 
It was the topic in every mouth, everywhere ; 
and nothing was done in the house or in the field, 
but to discuss its probable results. Eliza's flight 
— an unprecedented event on the place — was 
also a great accessory in stimulating the general 
excitement. 

Black Sam, as he was commonly called, from 
his being about three shades blacker than any 
other son of ebony on the place, was revolving 
the matter profoundly in- all its phases and bear- 
ings, with a comprehensiveness of vision, and a 
strict look-out to his own personal well-being, 
that would have done credit to any white patriot 
in Washington. 

" It 's an ill wind dat blows nowhar, — dat ar 
a fact," said Sam, sententiously, giving an ad- 
ditional hoist to his pantaloons, and adroitly sub- 
stituting a long nail in place of a missing sus- 
pender-button, with which effort of mechanical 
genius he seemed highly delighted. 

"Yes, it's an ill wind blows nowhar," He 
repeated. "Now, dar, Tom's down — wal, 
course der 's room for some nigger to be up — 
and why not dis nigger? — dat "s de idee. Tom, 
a ridin' round de country — boots blacked — pass 
in his pocket — all grand as Cuffje — who but 
he? Now, why shouldn't Sam? — dat 's what I 
want to know." 

" Halloo, Sam — 0, Sam ! Mas'r wants you to 
eotch Bill and Jerry," said Andy, cutting short 
Sam's soliloquy. 

" High ! what 's afoot now, young un ?" 

" Why, you don't know, I s'pose, that Lizy 's 
cut stick, and clared out, with her young un?" 

"You teach your granny!" said Sam, with 
infinite contempt ; " knowed it a heap sight 
sooner than you did ; this nigger an't so green, 
now !" 

" Well, anyhow, Mas'r wants Bill and Jerry 
geared right up ; and you and I 's to go with 
Mas'r Haley, to look arter her." 

"Good, now! dat 's de time o' day!" said 
Sam. " It 's Sam dat 's called for in dese yer 
times. He 's do nigger. See if I don't cotch 
Jaer, now ; Mas'r '11 see what Sam can do !" 

" Ah ! but Sam," said Andy, " you 'd better 



think twice ; for Missis don't want her cotched, 
and she '11 be in your wool." 

" High ! " said Sam, opening his eyes. " Ilovr 
you know dat?" 

" Heard her say so, my own self, dis blessed 
mornin', when I bring in Mas'r's shaving- water. 
She sent me to see why Lizy did n't come to 
dress her ; and when I telled her she was off, she 
jest ris up, and ses she, ' The Lord be praised ;' 
and Mas'r, he seemed rael mad, and says he, 
' Wife, you talk like a fool.' But Lor ! she '11 
bring him to ! I knows well enough how that '11 
be, — it 's allers best to stand Missis' side tho 
fence, now I tell yer." 

Black Sam, upon this, scratched his woolly 
pate, which, if it did not contain very profound 
wisdom, still contained a great deal of a particu- 
lar species much in demand among politicians of 
all complexions and countries, and vulgarly de- 
nominated " knowing which side the bread is 
buttered;" so, stopping with grave considera- 
tion, ho again gave a hitch to his pantaloons, 
which was his regularly organized method of 
assisting his mental perplexities. 

" Der an't no sayin' — never — 'bout no kind 
o' thing in dis yer world," he said, at last. 

Sam spoke like a philosopher, emphasizing this 
— as if he had had a large experience in differ- 
ent sorts of worlds, and therefore had come to his 
conclusions advisedly. 

" Now, sartin I 'd a said that Missis would a 
scoured the varsal world after Lizy," added Sam, 
thoughtfully. 

"So she would," said Andy; "but can't ye 
see through a ladder, ye black nigger? Missis 
don't want dis yer Mas'r Haley to getLizy's boy ; 
dat 's de go !" 

" High !" said Sam, with an indescribable in- 
tonation, known only to those who have heard it 
among the negroes. 

" And I '11 tell yer more 'n all," said Andy ; " I 
specs you 'd better be making tracks for dem 
hosses, — mighty sudden, too, — for I hearn 
Missis 'quirin' arter yer, — so you 've stood fool- 
in' long enough." 

Sam, upon this, began to bestir himself in real 
earnest, and after a while appeared, bearing 
down gloriously towards the house, with Bill and 
Jerry in a full canter, and adroitly throwing him- 
self off before they had any idea of stopping, he 
brought them up alongside of the horse-post like 
a tornado. Haley's horse, which was a skittish 
young colt, winced, and bounced, and pulled hard 
at his halter. 

" Ho, ho!" said Sam, " skeery, are ye?" and 
his black visage lighted up with a curious, mis- 
chievous gleam. " I '11 fix ye now !" said he. 

There was a large beech-tree overshadowing 
the place, and the small, sharp, triangular 
beech-nuts lay scattered thickly on the ground. 
With one of these in his fingers, Sam approached 
the colt, stroked and patted, and seemed appar- 
ently busy in soothing his agitation. On pre- 
tence of adjusting the saddle, he adroitly slipped 
under it the sharp little nut, in such a manner 
that the least weight brought upon the saddle 
would annoy the nervous sensibilities of the ani- 
mal, without leaving any perceptible graze or 
wound. 

" Dar !" he said, rolling his eyes with an ap- 
proving grin ; " me fix 'em !" 

At this moment Mrs. Shelby appeared on the 
1 balcony, beckoning to him. Sam approached 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



21' 



mill as good a determination to pay court as did 
ever suitor after a vacant place at St. James' or 
Washington. 

"Why have you been loitering so, Sam? I 
sent Andy to tell you to hurry." 

" Lord bless you, Missis ! 5 ' said Sam, " horses 
won't be kotched all in a minit ; they 'd done 
clared out way down to the south pasture, and 
the Lord knows whar !" 

" Sam, how often must I tell you not to say 
1 Lord bless you, and the Lord knows,' and such 
things 1 It's wicked . ' ' 

" O, Lord bless my soul ! I done forgot, Missis ! 
I won't say nothing of de sort no more." 

" Why, Sam, you just have said it again." 

"Did I? 0, Lord! I n^ean — I didn't go 
fur to say it." 

" You must be careful, Sam." 

" Just let me get my breath, Missis, and I '11 
start fair. I '11 be berry careful." 

" Well, Sam, you are to go with Mr. Haley, to 
show him the road and help him. Be careful of 
the horses, Sam ; you know Jerry was a little 
lame last week ; don't ride them too fast." 

Mrs. Shelby spoke the last words with a low 
*oice, and strong emphasis. 

" Let dis child alone for dat!" said Sam, roll- 
ing up his eyes with a volume of meaning. 
" Lord knows ! High ! Did n't say dat !" said 
he, suddenly catching his breath, with a ludicrous 
nourish of apprehension, which made his mistress 
laugh, spite of herself. " Yes, Missis, I '11 look 
out for de hosses !" 

" Now, Andy," said Sam, returning to his 
stand under the beech-trees, " you seel wouldn't 
be 'tall surprised if dat ar gen'lman's crittur 
should gib a fling, by and by, when he comes to 
be a gettin' up. You know, Andy, critturs will 
do such things ;" and therewith Sam poked Andy 
in the side, in a highly suggestive manner. 

"High!" said Andy, with an air of instant 
appreciation. 

" Yes, you see, Andy, Missis wants to make 
time, — dat ar 's clar to der most or'nary 'bserver. 
I jis make a little for her. Now, you see, get all 
dese yer hosses loose, caperin' permiscus round 
dis yer lot and down to de wood dar, and I spec 
Mas'r won't be off in a hurry." 

Andy grinned. 

" Yer see," said Sam, "yer see, Andy, if any 
such thing should happen as that Mas'r Haley's 
horse should begin to act contrary, and cut up, 
you and I jist lets go of our'n to help him, and 
we HI help him — yes!" And Sam and Andy 
laid their heads back on their shoulders, and 
bruite into a low, immoderate laugh, snapping 
their fingers and flourishing their heels with ex- 
quisite delight. 

At this instant, Haley appeared on the veran- 
da. Somewhat mollified by certain cups of very 
good coffee, he came out smiling and talking in 
tolerably restored humor. Sam and Andy, claw- 
ing for certain fragmentary palm-leaves, which 
they were in the habit of considering as hats, 
flew to the horse-posts, to be ready to " help 
Mas'r." 

Sam's palm-leaf had been ingeniously disen- 
tangled from all pretensions to braid, as respects 
its brim ; and the slivers starting apart, and 
gtanding upright, gave it a blazing air of free- 
dom and defiance, quite equal to that of any 
Fejee chief; while the whole brim of Andy's 
being departed bodily, he rapped the crown on 



his head with a dexterous thump, and looked 
about well pleased, as if to say, " Who says I 
have n't got a hat?" 

" Well, boys," said Haley, " look alive now; 
we must lose no time." 

" Not a bit of him, Mas'r !" said Sam, putting 
Haley's rein in his hand, and holding his stirrup, 
while Andy was untying the other two horses. 

The instant Haley touched the saddle, the 
mettlesome creature bounded from the earth with 
a sudden spring, that threw his master sprawl- 
ing, some feet off, on the soft, dry turf. Sam, 
with frantic ejaculations, made a dive at the 
reins, but only succeeded in brushing the blazing 
palm-leaf afore-named into the horse's eyes, which 
by no means tended to allay the confusion of his 
nerves. So, with great vehemence, he overturned 
Sam, and, giving two or three contemptuous 
snorts, flourished his heels vigorously in the air, 
and was soon prancing away towards the lower 
end of the lawn, followed by Bill and Jerry, 
whom Andy had not failed to let loose, according 
to contract, speeding them off with various direful 
ejaculations. And now ensued a miscellaneous 
scene of confusion. Sam and Andy ran and 
shouted, — dogs barked here and there, — and 
Mike, Mose, Mandy, Fanny, and all the smaller 
specimens on the place, both male and female, 
raced, clapped hands, whooped and shouted, with 
outrageous officiousnes3 and untiring zeal. 

Haley's horse, which was a white one, and 
very fleet and spirited, appeared to enter into the 
spirit of the scene with great gusto ; and having 
for his coursing-ground a lawn of nearly half a 
mile in extent, gently sloping down on every side 
into indefinite Avoodland, he appeared to take in- 
finite delight in seeing how near he could allow 
his pursuers to approach him, and then, when 
within a hand's breadth, whisk off with a start 
and a snort, like a mischievous beast as he 
was, and career far down into some alley of the 
wood-Jot. Nothing was further from Sam's mind 
than to have any one of the troop taken until 
such season as should seem to him most befitting, 
— and the exertions that he made were certainly 
most heroic. Like the sword of Cceur De Lion, 
which always blazed in the front and thickest 
of the battle, Sam's palm-leaf was to be seen 
everywhere when there was the least danger that 
a horse could be caught ; — there he would bear 
down full tilt, shouting, " Now for it ! cotch him ! 
cotch him !" in a way that would set everything 
to indiscriminate rout in a moment. 

Haley ran up and down, and cursed and swore 
and stamped miscellaneously. Mr. Shelby in 
vain tried to shout directions from the balcony, 
and Mrs. Shelby from her chamber-window al- 
ternately laughed and wondered, — not without 
some inkling of what lay at the bottom of all 
this confusion. 

At last, about twelve o'clock, Sam appeared 
triumphant, mounted on Jerry, with Haley's 
horse by his side, reeking with sweat, but with 
flashing eyes and dilated nostrils, showing that the 
spirit of freedom had not yet entirely subsided. 

" He 's cotched !" he exclaimed, triumphantly. 
" If 't hadn't been for me, they might a bust 
theirselves, all on 'em ; but I cotched him !" 

" You !" growled Haley, in no amiable mood. 
" If it had n't been for you, this never would have 
happened." 

" Lord bless us, Mas'r," said Sanf, in a tone 
of the deepest concern, " and me that has been 



22 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN \ OR, 



racin' and chasin' till the swet jest pour3 off 



me 



t" 



" Well, well !" said Haley, " you 'vo lost me 
near three hours, with your cursed nonsense 
Now let 's he off, and have no more fooling." 

" Why, Mas'r," said Sam, in a deprecating 
tone, " I helieve you mean to kill us all clar, 
horses and all. Here we are all just ready to 
drop down, and the critters all in a reek of 
sweat. Why, Mas'r won't think of startin' on 
now till arter dinner. MasVs hoss wants rub- 
ben down; see how he splashed hisself; and 
Jerry limps too ; don't think Missis would be 
willin' to have us start this yer way, no how. 
Lord bless you, Mas'r, we can ketch up, if we do 
stop. Lizy never was no great of a walker." 

Mrs. Shelby, who, greatly to her amusement, 
had overheard this conversation from the veranda, 
now resolved to do her part. She eame for- 
ward, and, courteously expressing her concern 
for Haley's accident, pressed him to stay to din- 
ner, saying that the cook should bring it on the 
table immediately. 

Thus, all things considered, Haley, with rather 
an equivocal grace, proceeded to the parlor, while 
Sam, rolling his eyes after him with unutterable 
meaning, proceeded gravely with the horses to 
the stable-yard. 

" Did yer see him, Andy? did yer see him'? " 
said Sam, when he had got fairly beyond the 
shelter of the barn, and fastened the horse to a 
post. "0, Lor, if it warn't as good as a meetin', 
now, to see him a dancin' and kickin' and swarm' 
at us. Didn't I hear him? Swar away, ole 
fellow (says I to myself) ; will yer have yer hoss 
now, or wait till yer cotch him ? (says I). Lor, 
Andy, I think I can see him now." And Sam 
and Andy leaned up against the barn, and 
laughed to their hearts' content. 

" Yer oughter seen how mad he looked, when 
T brought the hoss up. Lord, he 'd a killed me, 
if he durs' to ; and there I was a standin' as 
innercent and as humble." 

" Lor, I seed you," said Andy ; " an't you an 
old hoss, Sam?" 

''Rather 'spects I am," said Sam; " did yer 
see Missis up stars at the winder ? I seed her 
laughin'." 

" I 'm sure, I was racin' so, I did n't see noth- 
ing," said Andy. 

" Well, yer see," said Sam, proceeding gravely 
to wash down Haley's pony, " I 'se 'quired what 
yer may call a habit o' bobservation, Andy. It 's 
a very 'portant habit, Andy ; and I 'commend 
yer to be cultivatin' it, now yer young. Hist up 
that hind foot, Andy. Yer see, Andy, it's bob- 
servation makes all de difference in niggers. 
Did n't I see which way the wind blew dis yer 
mornin'? Didn't I see Avhat Missis wanted, 
though she never let on? Dat ar's bobserva- 
tion, Andy. I 'spects it 's what you may call a 
faculty. Faculties is different in different peo- 
ples, but cultivation of 'em goes a great way." 

" I guess if I hadn't helped your bobservation 
dis mornin', yov wouldn't have seen your way so 
smart," said Andy. 

" Andy," said Sam, " you 's a promisin' child, 
der an't no manner o' doubt. I thinks lots of 
yer, Andy ; and I don't feel no ways ashamed to 
take idees from you. We oughtenter overlook 
nobody, Andy, cause the smartest on us gets 
tripped up sometimes. And so, Andy, let 's go 
up to the house now. I'll be bran' Missis 11 
give us an uncommon good bite, dis yer time " 



CHAPTER VII. 



THE MOTHER S STRUGGLE. 



It is impossible to conceive of a human crea- 
ture more wholly desolate and forlorn than Eliza, 
when she turned her footsteps from Uncle Tom's 
cabin. 

Her husband's suffering and dangers, and the 
danger of her child, all blended in her mind 
with a confused and stunning sense of the risk 
she was running, in leaving the only home she 
had ever known, and cutting loose from the pro- 
tection of a friend whom she loved and revered. 
Then there was the parting from every familiar 
object, — the place where she had grown up, the 
trees under which she had played, the groves 
where she had walked many an evening in hap- 
pier days, by the side of her young husband, — 
everything, as it lay in the clear, frosty starlight, 
seemed to speak reproachfully to her, and ask 
her whither could she go from a home like that. 

But stronger than all was maternal love, 
wrought into a paroxysm of frenzy by the near 
approach of a fearful danger. Her boy was old 
enough to have walked by her side, and, in an 
indifferent case, she would only have led him by 
the hand ; but now the bare thought of putting 
him out of her arms made her shudder, and she 
strained him to her bosom with a convulsive 
grasp, as she went rapidly forward. 

The frosty ground creaked beneath her feet, 
and she trembled at the sound ; every quaking 
leaf and fluttering shadow sent the blood back- 
ward to her heart, and quickened her footsteps. 
She wondered within herself at the strength that 
seemed to be come upon her ; for she felt the 
weight of her boy as if it had been a feather, 
and every flutter of fear seemed to increase the 
supernatural power that bore her on, while from 
her pale lips burst forth, in frequent ejacula- 
tions, the prayer to a Friend above — "Lord, 
help ! Lord, save me !" 

If it were your Harry, mother, or your Willie, 
that were going to be torn from you by a brutal 
trader, to-morrow morning, — if you had seen 
the man, and heard that the papers were signed 
and delivered, and you had only from twelve 
o'clock till morning to make good your escape, 
— how fast could you walk ? How many miles 
could you make in those few brief hours, with 
the darling at your bosom, — the little sleepy 
head on your shoulder, — the small, soft arms 
trustingly holding on to your neck ? 

For the child slept. At first, the novelty and 
alarm kept him waking ; but his mother Su hur- 
riedly repressed every breath or sound, and so 
assured him that if he were only still she would 
certainly save him, that he clung quietly round 
her neck, only asking, as he found himself sink- 
ing to sleep, 

" Mother, I don't need to keep awake, do I?" 

" No, my darling ; sleep, if you want to." 

" But, mother, if I do get asleep, you won't 
let him get me ?" 

" No ! so may God help me !" said his mother, 
with a paler cheek, and a brighter light in her 
large dark eyes. 

" You 're sure, an't you, mother?" 

"Yes, sure!" said the mother, in a voice that 
startled herself; for it seemed to her to come 
from a spirit within, that was no part of her ; 
and the boy dropped his little weary head on her 
shoulder, and was soon asleep. How the touch 
of those warm arms, the gentle breathings that 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



23 



came in her neck, seemed to add fire and spirit 
to her movements ! It seemed to her as if 
strength poured ir.to her in electric streams, 
from every gentle touch and movement of the 
sleeping, confiding child. Sublime is the domin- 
ion of the mind over the body, that, for a time, 
can make flesh and nerve impregnable, and string 
the sinews like steel, so that the weak becomes 
so mighty. 

The boundaries of the farm, the grove, the 
wood-lot, passed by her dizzily, as she walked 
on ; and still she went, leaving one familiar 
object after another, slacking not, pausing not, 
till reddening daylight found her many a long 
mile from all traces of any familiar objects upon 
the open highway. 

She had often been, with her mistress, to visit 

some connections, in the little village of T , 

not far from the Ohio river, and knew the road 
well. To go thither, to escape across the Ohio 
river, were the first hurried outlines of her plan 
of escape ; beyond that she could only hope in 
God. 

When horses and vehicles began to move along 
the highway, with that alert perception peculiar 
to a state of excitement, and which seems to be 
a sort of inspiration, she became aware that her 
headlong pace and distracted air might bring on 
her remark and suspicion. She therefore put 
the boy on the ground, and, adjusting her dress 
and bonnet, she walked on at as rapid a pace as 
she thought consistent with the preservation of 
appearances. In her little bundle she had pro- 
vided a store of cakes and apples, which she used 
as expedients for quickening the speed of the 
child, rolling the apple some yards before them, 
when the boy would run with all his might after 
it; and this ruse, often repeated, carried 'them 
over many a half-mile. 

After a while, they came to a thick patch of 
woodland, through which murmured a clear brook. 
As the Child complained of hunger and thirst, 
she climbed over the fence w T ith him, and, sitting 
dowm behind a large rock which concealed them 
from the road, she gave him a breakfast out of 
her little package. The boy wondered and 
grieved that she could not eat ; and when, put- 
ting his arms round her neck, he tried to wedge 
some of his cake into her mouth, it seemed to her 
that the rising in her throat would choke her. 

" No, no, Harry darling ! mother can't eat till 
you are safe ! We must go on — on — till we 
come to the river!" And she hurried again into 
the road, and again constrained herself to walk 
regularly and composedly forward. 

She was many miles past any neighborhood 
where she was personally known. If she should 
chance to meet any who knew her, she reflected 
that the well-known kindness of the family would 
be of itself a blind to suspicion, as making it an 
unlikely supposition that she could be a fugitive. 
As she was also so white as not to be known as 
of colored lineage, without a critical survey, and 
her child was white also, it was much easier for 
her to pass on unsuspected. 

On this presumption, she stopped at noon at a 
neat farm-house, to rest herself, and buy some 
dinner for her child and self; for, as the danger 
decreased with the distance, the supernatural 
tension of the nervous system lessened, and she 
found herself both weary and hungry. 

T) e good woman, kindly and gossiping, 
seared rather pleased than otherwise with hav- 



ing somebody come m to talk with ; and accepted, 
without examination, Eliza's statement, that she 
" was going on a little piece, to spend a week 
with her friends," — all which she hoped in her 
heart might prove strictly true. 

An hour before sunset, she entered the village 

of T , by the Ohio river, weary and foot-sore, 

but still strong in heart. Her first glance was at 
the river, which lay, like Jordan, between her 
and the Canaan of liberty on the other side. 

It was now early spring, and the river was 
swollen and turbulent ; great cakes of floating ice 
were swinging heavily to and fro in the turbid 
waters. Owing to the peculiar form of the shore 
on the Kentucky side, the land bending far out 
into the water, the ice had been lodged and de- 
tained in great quantities, and the narrow chan- 
nel which swept round the bend was full of ice, 
piled one cake over another, thus forming a 
temporary barrier to the descending ice, which 
lodged, and formed a great, undulating raft, fill- 
ing up the whole river, and extending almost to 
the Kentucky shore. 

Eliza stood, for a moment, contemplating this 
unfavorable aspect of things, which she 4 saw at 
once must prevent the usual ferry-boat from run- 
ning, and then turned into a small public house 
on the bank, to make a few inquiries. 

The hostess, who was busy, in various fizzing 
and stewing operations over the fire, preparatory 
to the evening meal, stopped, with a fork in her 
hand, as Eliza's sweet and plaintive voice arrest 
ed her. 

"What is it?" she said. 

" Is n't there any ferry or boat, that takes peo- 
ple over to B , now V she said. 

" No, indeed !" said the woman ; " the boats 
has stopped running." 

Eliza's look of dismay and disappointment 
struck the woman, and she said, inquiringly, 

" May be you 're wanting to get over 1 — any- 
body sick ? Ye seem mighty anxious ?" 

" I 've got a child that 's very dangerous," said 
Eliza. " I never heard of it till last night, and 
I 've walked quite a piece to-day, in hopes to get 
to the ferry. " 

" Well, now, that 's onlucky," said the wo- 
man, whose motherly sympathies were much 
aroused; "I'm re'lly consarned for ye. Solo- 
mon!" she called from the window, towards a 
small back building. A. man, in leather apron 
and very dirty hands, appeared at the door. 

" I say, Sol," said the woman, " is that ar 
man going to tote them bar'ls over to-night ?" 

" He said he should try, if 't was any way pru- 
dent," said the man. 

" There 's a man a piece down here, that 's go- 
ing over wdth some truck this evening, if he 
durs'to ; he '11 be in here to supper to-night, so 
you 'd better set down and wait. That 's a 
sweet little fellow," added the woman, offering 
him a cake. 

But the child, wholly exhausted, cried with 
weariness. 

" Poor fellow ! he is n't used to walking, and 
I 've hurried him on so !" said Eliza. 

" Well, take him into this room," said the 
woman, opening into a small bed-room, where 
stood a comfortable bed. Eliza laid the weary 
boy upon it, and held his hands in hers till he 
was fast asleep. For her there was no rest. As 
a fire in her bones, the thought of the pursuer 
urged her on ; and she gazed with longing eyes 



24 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN I OR, 



on the sullen, surging waters that lay between 
her and liberty. 

Here we must take our leave of her for the 
present, to follow the course of her pursuers 

Though Mrs. Shelby had promised that the din- 
ner should be hurried on table, yet it was soon 
seen, as the thing has often been seen before, 
that it required more than one to make a bargain. 
So, although the order was fairly given out in 
Haley's hearing, and carried to Aunt Chloe by ai 
least half a dozen juvenile messengers, that dig- 
nitary only gave certain very gruff snorts, and 
tosses of her head, and went on with every opera- 
tion in an unusually leisurely and circumstantial 
manner. 

For some singular reason, an impression seemed 
to reign among the servants generally that Mis- 
sis would not be particularly disobliged by de- 
lay ; and it was wonderful what a number of 
counter accidents occurred constantly, to retard 
the course of things. One luckless wight con- 
trived to upset the gravy ; and then gravy had to 
be got up de novo, with due care and formality. 
Aunt Chloe watching and stirring with dogged 
precision, answering shortly, to all suggestions 
of haste, that she " warn't a going to have raw 
gravy on the table, to help nobody's catchings." 
One tumbled down with the water, and had to go 
to the spring for more ; and another precipitated 
the butter into the path of events ; and there was 
from time to time giggling news brought into the 
kitchen that " Mas'r Haley was mighty oneasy, 
and that he could n't sit in his cheer no ways, but 
was a walkin' and stalkin' to the winders and 
through the porch." 

" Sarves him right!" said Aunt Chloe, indig- 
nantly. " He "11 get wus nor oneasy, one of these 
days, if he don't mend his ways. His master '11 
be sending for him, and then see how he '11 
look!" 

" He '11 go to torment, and no mistake," said 
little Jake. 

" He desarves it !" said Aunt Chloe, grimly ; 
44 he 's broke a many, many, many hearts, — I tell 
ye all ! " she said, stopping, with a fork uplifted in 
her hands ; " it 's like what Mas'r George reads 
in Ravelations, — souls a callin' under the altar ! 
and a callin' on the Lord for vengeance on sich ! 
— and by and by the Lord he '11 hear 'em — so 
he will!" 

Aunt Chloe, who was much revered in the 
kitchen, was listened to with open mouth ; and, 
the dinner being now fairly sent in, the whole 
kitchen was at leisure to gossip with her, and to 
listen to her remarks. 

44 Sich '11 be burnt up forever, and no mistake ; 
wont ther?" said Andy. 

" I 'd be glad to see it, I '11 be boun'," said lit- 
tle Jake. 

" Chil'en !" said a voice, that made them all 
start. It was Uncle Tom, who had come in, and 
stoo-1 listening to the conversation at the door. 

"Chiron!" he said, "I'm afeard you don't 
know Avhat ye 're sayin'. Forever is a dre'ful 
word, chil"en ; it 's awful to think on 't. You 
oughtenter wish that ar to any human crittur." 

" We wouldn't to anybody but the soul driv- 
ers," said Andy ; " nobody can help wishing it 
to them, they 's so awful wicked." 

" Don't natur herself kinder cry out on em?" 
said Aunt Chloe. " Don't dey tear der suckin' 
baby right off his mother's breast, and sell him, 



and der little children as is crying awd holding 
on by her clothes, — don't dey pull 'cm off and 
sells cm? Don't dey tear wife and husband 
apart," said Aunt Chloe, beginning to cry, 
" when it 's jest takin' the very life on 'em ? — 
and all the while docs they feci one bit, — don't 
dey drink and smoke, and take it oncommon 
easy ? Lor, if the devil don't get them, what 's 
he good for ?" And Aunt Chloe covered her face 
with her checked apron, and began to sob in good 
earnest. 

" Pray for them that 'spitefully use you, the 
good book says," says Tom. 

" Pray for 'em !" said Aunt Chloe ; " Lor, it 's 
too tough ! I can't pray for 'em." 

" It 's natur, Chloe, and natur 's strong," said 
Tom, " but the Lord's grace is stronger ; besides, 
you oughter think what an awful state a poor 
crittur's soul 's in that '11 do them ar tilings, — 
you oughter thank God that you an't hks him, 
Chloe. I 'm sure I 'd rather be sold, ten thou- 
sand times over, than to have all that ar poor 
crittur 's got to answer for." 

" So 'd I, a heap," said Jake. " Lor, shouldn't 
we cotch it, Andy?" 

Andy shrugged his shoulders, and gave an 
acquiescent whistle. 

" [ 'm glad Mas'r didn't go off this morning, 
as he looked to," said Tom; "that ar hurt me 
more than sellin', it did. Mebbe it might have 
been natural for him, but 'twould have come 
clesp't hard on me, as has known him from a 
baby ; but I 've seen Mas'r, and I begin ter feel 
sort o' reconciled to the Lord's will now. Mas'r 
couldn't help hisself; he did right, but I'm 
feared things will be kinder goin' to rack, when 
I 'm gone. Mas'r can't be spected to be a pryin' 
round every whar, as I 've done, a kecpin' up all 
the ends. The boys all means well, but they 's 
powerful car'less. That ar troubles me." 

The bell here rang, and Tom was summoned to 
the pari r. 

"Tom," said his master, kindly, " I want you 
to notice that I give this gentleman bonds to for- 
feit a thousand dollars if you arc not on the spot 
when he wants you ; he 's going to-day to look 
after his other business, and you can have the 
day to yourself. Go anywhere vou like, boy." 

" Thank you, Mas'r," said Tom. 

"And mind yerself," said the trader, "and 
don't come it over your master with any o' yer 
nigger tricks ; for I '11 take every cent out of him, 
if you an't thar. If he 'd hear to me, he would n't 
trust any on ye — slippery as eels ! " 

"Mas'r," said Tom, — and ho stood very 
straight, — "I was jist eight years old when 
ole Missis put .you into my arms, and you wasn't 
a year old. ' Thar,' says she, ' Tom, that 's to be 
your young Mas'r; take good care on him,' says 
she. And now I jist ask you, Mas'r, have I ever 
broke word to you, or gone contrary to you, 
'specially since I was a Christian?" 

Mr. Shelby was fairly overcome, and the tears 
rose to his eyes. 

"My good boy," said he, "the Lord knows 
you say but the truth ; and if I was able to help 
it, ail the world shouldn't buy you." 

" And sure as I am a Christian woman," said 
Mrs Shelby, "you shall be redeemed as soon as 
I can any way bring together means. Sir," she 
said to Haley, " take good account of who you 
sell him to, and let me know." 

"Lor, yes, for that matter," said the trader 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



25 



" I may bring him up in a year, not much the 
wuss far wear, and trade him back." 

" I '11 trade with you then, and make it for 
your advantage," said Mrs. Shelby. 

"Of course," said the trader, "all's equal 
with me ; li'ves trade 'em up as down, so I does a 
good business. All I want is a livin', you know, 
ma'am ; that 's all any on us wants, I s'pose." 

Mr. and Mrs. Shelby both felt .annoyed and 
degraded by the familiar impudence of the trader, 
and yet both saw the absolute necessity of putting 
a constraint o* their feelings. The more hope- 
lessly sordid and insensible he appeared, the 
greater became Mrs. Shelby's dread of his suc- 
ceeding in recapturing Eliza and her child, and 
of course the greater her motive for detaining him 
by every female artifice. She therefore graciously 
smiled, assented, chatted familiarly, and did all 
she could to make time pass imperceptibly. 

At two o'clock, Sam and Andy brought the 
horses up to the posts, apparently greatly re- 
freshed and invigorated by the scamper of the 
morning. 

Sam was there, new oiled from dinner, with an 
abundance of zealous and ready officiousness. As 
Haley approached, he was boasting, in flourishing 
style, to Andy, of the evident and eminent suc- 
cess of the operation, now that he had " farly 
come to it." 

" Your master, T s'pose, don't keep no dogs," 
said Haley, thoughtfully, as he prepared to 
mount. 

"Heaps on "em," said Sam, triumphantly; 
" thar 's Bruno — he's a roarer! and, besides 
that, 'bout every nigger of us keeps a pup of 
some natur or uther." 

" Poll !" said Haley, — and he said something 
else, too, with regard to the said dogs, at which 
Sam muttered, 

" I don't see no use cussin' on 'em, no way." 

" But your master don't keep no dogs (I pretty 
much know he don't) for trackin' out niggers." 

Sam knew exactly what he meant, but he kept 
on a look of earnest and desperate simplicity. 

"Our dogs all smells round considable sharp. 
I spect they 's the kind, though they han't never 
had no practice. They 's far dogs, though, at 
most anything, if you 'd get 'em started. Here, 
Bruno," he called, whistling to the lumbering 
Newfoundland, who came pitching tumultuously 
toward them. 

"You go hang!" said Haley, getting up. 
" Come, tumble up, now." 

Sam tumbled up accordingly, dexterously con- 
triving to tickle Andy as he did so, which oc- 
casioned Andy to split out into a laugh, greatly 
to Haley's indignation, who made a cut at him 
with his riding-whip. 

" I 's 'stonished at yer, Andy," said Sam, with 
awful gravity. " This yer 's a seris bisness, 
Andy. Yer mustn't be a makin' game. This yer 
an't no way to help Mas'r. " 

" I shall take the 
said Haley, decidedly, after they had come to the 
boundaries of the estate. " I know the way of 
all of 'em, — they makes tracks for the under- 
ground." 

" Sartin," said Sam, " dat 's de idee. Mas'r 
Haley hits de thing right in de middle. Now, 
der 's two roads to de river, — de dirt road and 
der pike, — which Mas'r mean to take ?" 

Andy looked up innocently at Sam, surprised 
at hearing this new geographical fact, but in- 



straight road to the river, : 



stantly confirmed what he said, by a vehement 
reiteration. 

" Cause," said Sam, " I 'd rather be 'clined to 
'magine that Lizy 'd take de dirt road, bein' it 's 
the least travelled." 

Haley, notwithstanding that he was a very old 
bird, and naturally inclined to be suspicious of 
chaff, was rather brought up by this view of the 
case. 

" If yer warn't both on yer such cussed liars, 
now!" he said, contemplatively, as he pondered 
a moment. 

The pensive, reflective tone in which this was 
spoken appeared to amuse Andy prodigiously, and 
he drew a little behind, and shook so as appar- 
ently to run a great risk of falling off his horse, 
while Sam's face was immovably composed into 
the most doleful gravity. 

" Course," said Sam, " Mas'r can do as he 'd 
r uther ; go de straight road, if Mas'r thinks best, 
— it 's all one to us. Now, when I study 'pon it, 
I think the straight road de best, deridedly.' n 

"She would naturally go a lonesome way," 
said Haley, thinking aloud, and not minding Sam's 
remark. 

" Dar an't no sayin'," said Sam ; " gals is pe- 
cular ; they never does nothin' ye thinks they 
will ; mose gen'lly the contrar. Gals is nat'lly 
made contrary ; and so, if you thinks they 've 
gone one road, it is sartin you 'd better go t' other, 
and then you '11 be sure to find 'em. Now, my 
private 'pinion is, Lizy took der dirt road ; so I 
think we 'd better take de straight one." 

This profound generic view of the female sex 
did not seem to dispose Haley particularly to the 
straight road ; and he announced decidedly that 
he should go the other, and asked Sam when they 
should come to it. 

" A little piece ahead," said Sam, giving a 
wink to Andy with the eye which was on Andy's 
side of the head ; and he added, gravely, " but 
I 've studded on de matter, and I 'm quite clar 
Ave ought not to go dat ar way. I nebber been 
over it, no wav. It 's despit lonesome, and we 
might lose our way, — whar we 'd come to, de 
Lord only knows." 

" Nevertheless," said Haley, " I shall go that 
way." 

" Now I think on 't, T think I hearn 'em tell 
that clat ar road was all fenced up and down by 
der creek, and thar, an't it, Andy V 

Andy was n't certain ; he 'd only " hearn tell" 
about that road, but never been over it. In short, 
he was strictly non-committal. 

Haley, accustomed to strike the balance of 
probabilities between lies of greater or lesser 
magnitude, thought that it lay in favor of the 
dirt road aforesaid. The mention of the thing 
he thought he perceived was involuntary on Sam's 
part at first, and his confused attempts to dissuade 
him he set down to a desperate lying on second 
thoughts, as being unwilling to implicate Eliza. 

When, therefore, Sam indicated the road, Haley 
plunged briskly into it, followed by Sam and 
Andy. 

Now, the road, in fact, was an old one, that 
had formerly been a thoroughfare to the river, but 
abandoned for many years after the laying of the 
new pike. It was open for about an hour's ride 
and after that it was cut across by various farms 
and fences. Sam knew this fact perfectly well, — 
indeed, the road had been so long closed up, that 
Andy had never heard of it. He therefore rode 



26 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN OR, 



along with an air of dutiful submission, only 
groaning and vociferating occasionally that 'twas 
" desp't rough, and bad for Jerry's foot." 

" Now, I jest give yer warning," said Haley, 
" I know yer ; yer won't get me to turn off this 
yer road, with all yer fussin' — so you shet up !" 

" Mas'r will go his own way !" said Sam, with 
rueful submission, at the same time winking most 
portentously to Andy, whose delight was now 
very near the explosive, point. 

Sam was in wonderful spirits, — professed to 
keep a very brisk look-out, — at one time exclaim- 
ing that he saw " a gal's honnet" on the top of 
some distant eminence, or calling to Andy " if 
that thar wasn't ' l^izy,' down in the hollow;" 
always making these exclamations in some rough 
or craggy part of the road, where the sudden 
quickening of speed was a special inconvenience 
to all parties concerned, and thus keeping Haley 
in a state of constant commotion. 

After riding about an hour in this way, the 
whole party made a precipitate and tumultuous 
descent into a barn-yard belonging to a large 
farming establishment. Not a soul was in sight, 
all the hands being employed in the fields ; but, 
as the barn stood conspicuously and plainly 
square across the road, it was evident that their 
journey in that direction had reached a decided 
finale. 

" Wan't dat ar what I tolled Mas'r?" said 
Sam, with an air of injured innocence. " How r 
does strange gentleman spect to know more about 
a country dan cle natives born and raised ?" 

"You rascal!" said Haley, "you knew all 
about this." 

" Did n't I tell yer I Jinoiu'd, and yer wouldn't 
believe me ? I telled Mas'r 't was all shet up, 
and fenced up, and I did n't spect we could get 
through, — Andy heard me." 

It was too true to be disputed, and the unlucky 
man had to pocket his wrath with the best grace 
he was able ; and all three faced to the right 
about, and took up their line of march for the 
highway. 

In consequence of all the various delays, it was 
about three-quarters of an hour after Eliza had 
laid her child to sleep in the village tavern that 
the party came riding into the same place. Eliza 
was standing by the window', looking out in an- 
other direction, when Sam's quick Bye caught a 
glimpse of her. Haley and Andy were two yards 
behind. At this crisis, Sam contrived to have 
his hat blown off, and uttered a loud and charac- 
teristic ejaculation, which startled her at once ; 
she drew suddenly back ; the whole train swept 
by the window, round to the front door. 

A thousand lives seemed to be concentrated in 
that one moment to Eliza. Her room opened by 
a side door to the river. She caught her child, 
and sprang down the steps towards it. The trad- 
er caught a full glimpse of her, just as she was 
disappearing down the bank ; and throwing him- 
self from his horse, and calling loudly on Sam and 
Andy, he was after her like a hound after a deer. 
In that dizzy moment her feet to her scarce 
seemed to touch the ground, and a moment 
brought her to the water's edge. Right on be- 
hind they came ; and, nerved w r ith strength such 
as God gives only to the desperate, with one wild 
cry and flying leap, she vaulted sheer over the 
turbid current by the shore, on to the raft of ice 
beyond. It was a desperate leap — impossible to 
anything tut 'nadness and despair ; and Haley, 



Sam and Andy, instinctively cried out, and lifted 
up their hands, as she did it. 

The huge green fragment of ice on which sho 
alighted pitched and creaked as her weight came 
on it, but she staid there not a moment. With 
wild cries and desperate energy she leaped to 
another and still another cake; — stumbling — 
leaping — slipping — springing upwards again ! 
Her shoes are gone — her stockings cut from her 
feet — while blood marked every step; but she 
saw nothing, felt nothing, till dimly, as in a 
dream, she saw the Ohio side, and a man helping 
her up the bank. 

" Yer a brave gal, now, whoever ye ar !" said 
the man, with an oath. 

Eliza recognized the voice and nice of a man 
who owned a farm not far from her old home. 

"0, Mr. Symmes ! — save me — do save me — 
do hide me !" said Eliza. 

" Why, what 's this?" said the man. " Why, 
if 'tan't Shelby's gal!" 

"My child! — this boy! — he'd sold him! 
There is his Mas'r," said she, pointing to the 
Kentucky shore. " 0, Mr. Symmes, you 've got 
a little boy!" 

" So I have," said the man, as he roughly, but 
kindly, drew her up the steep bank. " Besides, 
you 're a right brave gal. I like grit, wherever I 
see it." 

When they had gained the top of the bank, 
the man paused. 

"I'd be glad to do something for ye," said 
he ; " but then there 's nowhar I could take ye. 
The best I can do is to tell ye to go thar" said 
he, pointing to a large wdiite house which stood 
by itself, off the main street of the village. " Go 
thar ; they 're kind folks. Thar 's no kind o' 
danger but they '11 help you, — they 're up to all 
that sort o' thing." 

" The Lord bless you !" said Eliza, earnestly. 

"No 'casion, no 'casion in the world," said 
the man. " What I 've done 's of no 'count." 

"And, 0, surely, sir, you won't tell any 
one !" 

" Go to thunder, gal ! What do you take a fel- 
ler for? In course not," said the man. "Come, 
now, go along like a likely, sensible gal, as you 
are. You 've arnt your liberty, and you shall 
have it, for all me." 

The woman folded her child to her bosom, and 
walked firmly and swiftly away. The man stood 
and looked after her. 

" Shelby, now, mebbe won't think this yer the 
most neighborly thing in the world ; but what 's 
a feller to do ? If he catches one of my gals in 
the same fix, he 's welcome to pay back. Some- 
how I never could see no kind o' critter a strivin' 
and pantin', and trying to clar theirselvcs, with 
the dogs arter 'em, and go agin 'em. Besides, I 
don't see no kind of 'casion for mo to be hunter 
and catcher for other folks, neither." 

So spoke this poor, heathenish Kentuckian, 
who had not been instructed in his constitutional 
relations, and consequently was betrayed into 
acting in a sort of Christianized manner, which, 
if he had been better situated and more enlight- 
ened, he would not have been left to do. 

Haley had stood a perfectly amazed spectator 
of the scene, till Eliza had disappeared up the 
bank, when he turned a blank, inquiring look on 
Sam and Andy. 

"That ar was a tolable fair stroke of busi- 
ness," said Sam. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



27 



" The gal 's got seven devils in her, I believe !" 
said Haley. " How like a wildcat she jumped !" 

"Wal, now," said Sam, scratching his head, 
"I hope Mas'r '11 'scuse us tryin' dat ar road. 
Don't think I feel spry enough for dat ar, no 
way !" and Sam gave a hoarse ehuckle. 

" You laugh !" said the trader, with a growl. 

"Lord bless you, Mas'r, I couldn't help it, 
now," said Sam, giving way to the long pent-up 
delight of his soul. "She looked so curi's, a 
leapin' and springin' — ice a crackin' — and only 
to hear her, — plump! ker chunk! ker splash! 
Spring! Lord! how she goes it!" and Sam and 
Andy laughed till the tears rolled down their 
cheeks. 

" I ; 11 make ye laugh t'other side yer mouths !" 
said the trader, laying about their heads with 
his riding-whip. 

Both ducked, and ran shouting up the bank, 
and were on their horses before he was up. 

" Good-evening, Mas'r !" said Sam, with much 
gravity. " I berry much spect Missis be anxious 
'bout Jerry. Mas'r Haley won't want us no 
longer. Missis would n''t hear of our ridin' the 
critters over Lizy's bridge to-night ;" and, with a 
facetious poke into Andy's ribs, he started off, 
followed by the latter, at full speed, — their 
shouts of laughter coming faintly oh the wind. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

eliza's escape. 



Eliza made her desperate retreat across the 
river just in the dusk of twilight. The gray mist 
of evening, rising slowly from the river, enveloped 
her as she disappeared up the bank, and the 
swollen current and floundering masses of ice 
presented a hopeless barrier between her and her 
pursuer. Haley therefore slowly and discontent- 
edly returned to the little tavern, to ponder further 
what was to be done. The woman opened to him 
the door of a little parlor, covered with a rag- 
carpet, where stood a table with a very shining 
black oil-cloth, sundry lank, high-backed wood- 
chairs, with some plaster images in resplendent 
colors on the mantel-shelf, above a very dimly- 
smoking grate ; a long hard-wood settle extended 
its uneasy length by the chimney, and here 
Haley sat him down to meditate on the instabil- 
ity of human hopes and happiness in general. 

" What did I want Avith the little cuss, now," 
he said to himself, " that I should have got my- 
self treed like a coon, as I am, tnis yer way?" 
and Haley relieved himself by repeating over a 
not very select litany of imprecations on himself, 
which , though there was the best possible reason 
to consider them as true, we shall, as a matter 
of taste, omit. 

He was startled by the loud and dissonant 
voice of a man who was apparently dismounting 
at the door. He hurried to the window. 

" By the land ! if this yer an't the nearest, now, 
to what I 've heard folks call Providence," said 
Haley. "I do b'lieve that ar's Tom Loker." 

Haley hastened out. Standing by the bar, in 
the corner of the room, was a brawny, muscular 
man. full six feet in height, and broad in pro- 
portion. He was dressed in a coat of buffalo- 
skin, made with the hair outward, which gave 
him a shaggy and tierce appearance, perfectly in 
keeping with the whole air of his physiognomy. 



In the head and face every organ and lineament 
expressive of brutal and unhesitating violence 
was in a state of the highest possible develop- 
ment. Indeed, could our readers fancy a bull- 
dog come unto man's estate, and walking about 
in a hat and coat, they would have no unapt idea 
of the general style and effect of his physique. 
He was accompanied by a travelling companion, 
in many respects an exact contrast to himself. 
He was short and slender, lithe and cat-like in 
his motions, and had a peering, mousing expres- 
sion about his keen black eyes, with which every 
feature of his face seemed sharpened into sym- 
pathy ; his thin, long nose, ran out as if it was 
eager to bore into the nature of things in general ; 
his sleek, thin, black hair was stuck eagerly for- 
ward, and all his motions and evolutions ex- 
pressed a dry, cautious acuteness. The great 
big man poured out a big tumbler half full of raw 
spirits, and gulped it down without a word. The 
little man stood tip-toe, and putting his head 
first to one side and then to the other, and snuf- 
fing considerately in the directions of the various 
bottles, ordered at last a mint julep, in a thin 
and quivering voice, and with an air of great cir- 
cumspection. When poured out, he took it and 
looked at it with a sharp, complacent air, like a 
man who thinks he has done about the right 
thing, and hit the nail on the head, and pro- 
ceeded to dispose of it in short and well-advised 
sips. 

" Wal, now, who 'd a thought this }~er luck 'ad 
come to me ? Why, Loker, how are ye?" said 
Haley, coming forward, and extending his hand 
to the bio: man. 

"The devil!" was the civil reply. "What 
brought you here, Haley'?" 

The mousing man, who bore the name of Marks, 
instantly stopped his sipping, and, poking his 
head forward, looked shrewdly on the new ac- 
quaintance, as a cat sometimes looks at a moving 
dry leaf, or some other possible object of pursuit. 

" I say, Tom, this yer 's the luckiest thing in 
the world. I 'in in a dt ril of a hobble, and you 
must help me out." 

"Ugh? aw! like enough!" grunted his com- 
placent acquaintance. "A body may be pretty 
sure of that, when you Ye glad to see 'em ; some- 
thing to be made off of 'em. What 's the blow 
now ?" 

"You've got a friend here?" said Haley, 
looking doubtfully at Marks; "partner, per- 
haps ?" 

" Yes, I have. Here, Marks! here's that ar 
feller that I was in with in Natchez." 

" Shall be pleased with his acquaintance," said 
Marks, thrusting out a long, thin hand, like a 
raven's claw. " Mr. Haley, I believe V 

"The same, sir," said Haley. "And now, 
gentlemen, seein' as we 've met so happily, I 
think I '11 stand up to a small matter of a tre-at 
in this here parlor. So, now, old coon," said he 
to the man at the bar, " get us hot water, and 
sugar, and cigars, and plenty of the real stuff, 
and we ; 11 have a blow-out." 

Behold, then, the candles lighted, the fire stim- 
ulated to the burning point in the grate, and our 
three worthies seated round a table, well spread 
with all the accesscries to good fellowship enu- 
merated before. 

Haley began a pathetic recital of his peculiar 
troubles. Loker shut up his mouth, and listened 
to him with gruff and surly attention. Marks, who 



28 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR, 



was anxiously and with much fidgeting com- 
pounding a tumbler of punch to his own peculiar 
taste, occasionally looked up from his employ- 
ment, and, poking his sharp nose and chin almost 
into Haley's face, gave the most earnest heed to 
the whole narrative. The conclusion of it ap- 
peared to amuse him extremely, for he shook his 
shoulders and sides in silence, and perked up his 
thin lips with an air of gre'at internal enjoyment. 

"So, then, ye 'r fairly sewed up, an't yeV 
he said ; " he ! he ! he ! It 's neatly done, too." 

" This ycr young-un business makes lots of 
trouble in the trade," said Haley, dolefully. 

" If we could get a breed of gals that did n't 
care, now, for their young uns," said Marks ; 
"tell ye, I think 't would be 'bout the greatest 
mod rn improvement I knows on," — and Marks 
patronized his joke by a quiet introductory snig- 
gle. 

" Jcs so," said Haley ; " I never could n't see 
into it ; young uns is heaps of trouble to 'em ; 
one would think, now, they 'd be glad to get clar 
on 'em ; but they arn't. And the more trouble a 
young un is, and the more good for nothing, as a 
gen"l thing, the tighter they sticks to 'em." 

" Wal, Mr. Haley," said Marks, "jest pass 
the hot water. Yes, sir ; you say jest what I 
feel and al'us have. Now, I bought a gal once, 
when I was in the trade, — a tight, likely wench 
she was, too, and quite considerable smart, — 
and she had a young un that was mis'able sickly ; 
it had a crooked back, or something or other ; and 
I jest gin 't aivay to a man that thought he 'd 
take his chance raising on 't, being it did n't cost 
nothin' ; — never thought, yer know, of the gal's 
takin' on about it, — but, Lord, yer oughter seen 
how she went on. Why, re'lly, she did seem to 
me to valley the child more 'cause H was sickly 
and cross, and plagued her ; and she warn't mak- 
ing b'lieve, neither, — cried about it, she did, and 
lopped round, as if she 'd lost every friend she 
had. It re'lly was droll to think on 't. Lord, 
there an't no end to women's notions." 

" Wal, jest so with me," said Haley. " Last 
summer, down on Red river, I got a gal traded 
off on me, with a likely lookin' child enough, and 
his eyes looked as bright as yourn ; but, come to 
look, I found him stone blind. Fact — he was 
stone blind. Wal, ye see, I thought there w r arn't 
no harm in my jest passing him along, and not 
savin' nothin' ; and I 'd got him nicely swapped 
off for a keg o' whiskey ; but come to get him 
away from the gal, she was jest like a tiger. So 
'twas before we started, and I hadn't got my 
gang chained up ; so what should she do but ups 
on a cotton-bale, like a cat, ketches a knife from 
one of the deck hands, and, I tell ye, she made 
all fly for a minit, till she saw 'twan't no use ; 
and she jest turns round, and pitches head first, 
young un and all, into the river, — went down 
plump, and never ris." 

•' Bah !" said Tom Loker, who had listened to 
these stories with ill-repressed disgust, — " shif'- 
less, both on ye ! my gals don't cut up no such 
shines, I tell ye !" 

"Indeed! how do you help if?" said Marks, 
briskly. 

" Help it? why, I buys a gal, and if she 's got 
a young un to be sold, I jest walks up and puts 
my fist to her face, and says, ' Look here, now, 
if you give me one word out of your head, I '11 
smash yer face in. I Avon't hear one word — not 
the beginning of a Avord.' I says to 'em, ' This 



yer young on 's mine, and not yourn, and you 've 
qo kind o' business with 1t. I 'm eoine to sell 
it, first chance; mind, you don't cut up nonv o' 
yer shines about it, or I '11 make ye wish ye 'd 
never been born.' I tell ye, they sees it an't no 
play, when I gets hold. I makes 'em as whist 
as n shes ; and if one on 'em logins and gives a 
yelp, why, — " and Mr. Loker brought down his 
fist with a thump that fully explained the hia- 
tus. 

" That ar 's what ye may call emphasis f " said 
Marks, poking Haley in the side, and going into 
another small giggle. " An't Tom peculiar ? he! 
he! he! I say, Tom, I s'pect you make 'cm 
understand, for all niggers' heads is woolly. They 
don't never have no doubt o' your meaning, Tom. 
If you an't the devil, Tom, you 's his twin brother, 
I 'il say that for ye !" 

Tom received the compliment with becoming 
modesty, and began to look as affable as was con- 
sistent, as John Bunyan says, " with his doggish 
nature." 

Haley, who had been imbibing very freely of 
the staple of the evening, began to feel a sensible 
elevation and enlargement of hi3 moral faculties, 
— a phenomenon not unusual with gentlemen of 
a serious and reflective turn, under similar cir- 
cumstances. 

" Wal, now, Tom," he said, " ye re'lly is too 
bad, as I al'ays have told ye ; ye know, Tom, you 
and I used to talk over these yer matters down in 
Natchez, and I used to prove to ye that we made 
full as much, and was as well off for this yer 
world, by treatin' .on 'em well, besides keepin' a 
better chance for comin' in the kingdom at last, 
when wust comes to wust, and thar an't nothing 
else left to get, ye kmnv." 

"Boh!" said Tom, " don't I know? — don't 
make me too sick with any yer stuff, — my stom- 
ach is a lectio riled, now ;" and Tom drank half 
a glass of raw brandy. 

" I say," said Haley, and leaning back in his 
chair and gesturing impressively, "I '11 say this 
now, I al'ays meant to drive my trade so as to 
make money on 't, fust and foremost, as much as 
any man ; but, then, trade an't everything, and 
money an't everything, 'cause Ave 's all got souls. 
I don't care, now, avIio hears me say it, — and I 
think a cussed sight on it, — so I may as Avell 
come out Avith it. I b'lieA^e in religion, and one 
of these days, when I 've got matters tight and 
snug, I calculates to 'tend to my soul and them 
ar matters ; and so Avhat 's the use of doin' any 
more Avickedness than 's re'lly necessary? — it 
don't seem to me it 's 't all prudent." 

" Tend to yer soul !" repeated Tom, contempt- 
uously ; " take a bright look-out to find a soul in 
you, — save yourself any care on that score. If 
the devil sifts you through a hair sieve, he won't 
find one." 

" Why, Tom, you 're cross," said Haley ; " Avhy 
can't ye take it pleasant, now, when a feller's 
talking for your good ?" 

" Stop that ar jaw o' yourn, there," said Tom, 
gruffly. " I can stand most any talk o' yourn but 
your pious talk, — that kills me right up. After 
all, what 's the odds between me and you ? 'Tan't 
that you care one bit more, or ha\-e a bit more 
feelin', — it 's clean, sheer, dog meanness, wanting 
to cheat the devil and save your OAvn skin ; don't I 
see through it? And your ' gettin' religion,' as 
you call it, arter all, is too p'isin mean for any 
crittur ; — run up a bill with the devil all your . 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



29 



life, and then sneak out when pay time comes ! 
Boh!" 

"Come, come, gentlemen, I say; this isn't 
business," said Marks. " There 's different ways, 
you know, of looking at all subjects. Mr. Haley 
is a very nice man, no doubt, and has his own 
conscience ; and, Torn, you have your ways, and 
very good ones, too, Tom ; but quarrelling, you 
know, won't answer no kind of purpose. Let's 
go to business. Now, Mr. Haley, what is it? — 
you want us to undertake to catch this yer gal?" 

"The gal's no matter of mine, — she's Shel- 
by's ; it 's only the boy. I was a fool for buying 
the monkey !" 

" You 're generally a fool !" said Tom, gruffly. 

" Come, now, Loker, none of your huffs," said 
Marks, licking his lips ; " you see, Mr. Haley's 
a puttin' us in a way of a good job, I reckon ; just 
hold still, — these yer arrangements is my forte. 
This yer gal, Mr. Haley, how is she ? what is 
she?" 

" Wal ! white and handsome — -well brought 
up. I 'd a gin Shelby eight hundred or a thou- 
sand, and then made well on her." 

"White and handsome — well brought up!" 
said Marks, his sharp eyes, nose and mouth, all 
alive with enterprise. " Look here, now, Loker, 
a beautiful opening. We '11 do a business here on 
our own account; — we does the catchin'; the 
boy, of course, goes to Mr. Haley, — we takes the 
gal to Orleans to speculate on. An't it beauti- 
ful?" 

Tom, whose great heavy mouth had stood ajar 
during tins communication, now suddenly snapped 
it together, as a big dog closes on, a piece of meat, 
and seemed to be digesting the idea at his leisure. 

"Ye see," said Marks to Haley, stirring his 
punch as he did so, " ye seoiAve has justices con 



venieut at all p'ints along slmre, that does up any 
little jobs in our line quite reasonable. Tom, he 
does tlie knockin' down and that ar ; and I come 
in all dressed up — shining boots — everything 
first chop, when the swearin' 's to be done. You 
oughter see, now," said Marks, in a glow of pro- 
fessional pride, " how I can tone it off. One day, 
I'm Mr. Twickem, frdm New Orleans; 'mother 
day, I 'm just come from my plantation on Pearl 
river, where I works seven hundred niggers ; then, 
again, I come out a distant relation of Henry Clay, 
.or some old cock in Kentuck. Talents is different, 
you know. Now, Tom 's a roarer when there 's 
any thumping or fighting to be done ; but at lying 
he an't good, Tom an't, — ye see it don't come 
natural to him ; but, Lord, if thar 's a feller in the 
country that can swear to anything and every- 
thing, and put in all the circumstances and flour- 
ishes with a longer face, and carry 't through 
better 'n I can, why, I 'd like to see him, that 's 
all ! I b'lieve nvv heart, I could get along and 
snake through, even if justices were more par- 
ticular than they is. Sometimes I rather wish 
they was more particular ; 't would be a heap more 
relishin' if they was,— - more fun, yer know." 

Tom Loker . who, as we have made it appear, 
was a man of slow thoughts and movements, here 
interrupted Marks by bringing his heavy fist down 
on the table, so as to make all ring again. " It '// 
do .'" he said. 

V Lord bless ye, Tom, ye needn't break all the 
glasses !" said Marks ; " save your fist for time o' 
need." 

". " But, gentlemen, an't I to come in for a share 
•of the profits ?" said Haley. 



" An't it enough we catch the boy for ye?" 
said Loker. " What do ye want?" 

" Wal," said Haley, " if I gives you the job, 
it 's worth something, — say ten per cent, on the 
profits, expenses paid." 

" Now," said Locker, with a tremendous oath, 
and striking the table with his heavy fist, " don't 
I know you, Dan Haley? Don't you think to come 
it over me ! Suppose Marks and I have taken up 
the catchin' trade, just to 'commodate gentlemen 
like you, and get nothin' for ourselves? — Not by 
a long chalk ! we '11 have the gal out and out, and 
you keep quiet, or, ye see, we'll have both, — 
what's to hinder? Han't you show'd us the 
game ? It 's as free to us as you, I hope. If you 
or Shelby wants to chase us, look where the par- 
tridges was last year ; if you find them or us, 
you 're quite welcome." 

" 0, wal, certainly, jest let it go at that," said 
Haley, alarmed ; " you catch the boy for the job ; 

— you allers did trade/#r with me, Tom, and was 
up to yer word." 

" Ye know that," said Tom ; " I don't pretend 
none of your snivelling ways, but I won't lie in my 
'counts with the devil himself. What I ses I '11 
do, I will do, — Pyou know that, Dan Haley." 

" Jes so, jes so, — I said so, Tom," said Haley ; 
" and if you 'd only promise to have the boy for 
me in a week, at any point you '11 name, that 's 
all I want." 

" But it an't all I want, by a long jump," said 
Tom. "Ye don't think I did business with you, 
down in Natchez, for nothing, Haley ; I 've learned 
to hold an eel, when I catch him. You 've got to 
fork over fifty dollars, flat down, or this child don't 
start a peg. I know yer." 

" Why, when you have a job in hand that may 
bring a clean profit of somewhere about a thousand 
or sixteen hundred, why, Tom, you 're onreason- 
able," said Haley. 

"Yes, and hasn't we business booked for five 
weeks to come, — all we can do ? And suppose we 
leave all, and goes to bushwhacking round arter 
yer young un, and finally does n't catch the gal, — ■ 
and gals allers is the devil to catch, — what's 
then? would you pay us a cent — would you? I 
think I see you a doin' it — ugh ! No, no ; flap 
down your fifty. If we get the job, and it pays, 
I '11 hand it back ; if we don't, it 's for our trouble, 

— that 's far, an't it, Marks ?" 

" Certainly, certainly," said Mams, with a con- 
ciliatory tone ; " it 's only a retaining fee, you see, 

— he! he! he! — we lawyers, you know. Wal, 
we must all keep good-natured, — keep easy, yer 
know. Tom '11 have the boy for yer, anywhere 
ye '11 name ; won't ye, Tom V* 

" If I find the young 'un, I '11 bring him on to 
Cincinnati, and leave him at Granny Belcher's, 
on the landing," said Loker. 

Marks had got from his pocket a greasy pocket- 
book, and taking a long paper from thence, ho 
sat down, and fixing his keen black eyes on it, 
began mumbling over its contents: "Barnes — 
Shelby County — boy Jim, three hundred dollars 
for him, dead or alive. 

" Edwards — Dick and Lucy — man and wife, 
six hundred dollars ; wench Polly and two chil- 
dren — six hundred for her or her head. 

" I 'm jest a runnin' over our business, to see 
if we can take up this 'yer handily. Loker," he 
said, after a pause, " we must set Adams and 
Springer on the track of these yer ; they 've been 
booked some time." 



30 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN I OR 



" Thoy '11 charge too much," said Tom. 

" I '11 manage that ar ; they 's young in the 
business, and must spect to -work cheap," said 
Marks, as he continued to read. "There's three 
on 'cm easy cases, 'cause all you 'vc got to do is 
to shoot 'cm, or swear they is shot ; they 
could n't, of course, charge much for that. Them 
other cases," he said, folding the paper, " will 
bear puttin' off a spell. So now let 's come to the 
particulars. Now, Mr. Haley, you saw this yer 
gal when she landed?" 

" To be sure, — plain as I see you." 

" An' a man helpin' on her up the bank?" said 
Loker. 

" To be sure, I did." 

" Most likely," said Marks, " she 's took in 
somewhere, but where, 's the question. Tom, 
what do you say ?" 

" We must cross the river to-night, no mis- 
take," said Tom. 

" But there 's no boat about," said Marks. 
" The ice is running awfully, Tom ; an't it 
dangerous ?" 

" Don'no nothing 'bout that, — only it 's got 
to be done," said Tom, decidedly. 

" Dear me," said Marks, fidgeting, " it '11 be 
— T say," he said, walking to the window, " it 's 
dark as a wolf's mouth, and, Tom — " 

" The long and short is, you 're scared, Marks ; 
but I can't help that, — you 've got to go. Sup- 
pose you want to lie by a day or two, till the 
gal 's been carried on the underground line up 
to Sandusky or so, before you start !" 

" 0, no ; I an't a grain afraid,'" said Marks, 
« only — " 

" Only what?" said Tom. 

" Well, about the boat. Yer see there an't any 
boat." 

" I heard the woman say there was one coming 
along this evening, and that a man was going to 
cross over in it. Neck or nothing, w r e must go 
with him," said Tom. 

" I s'pose you've got good dogs," said Haley. 

" First rate," said Marks. " But what 's the 
use? you han't got nothin' o' hers to smell on." 

" Yes, I have," said Haley, triumphantly. 
"Here's her shawl she left on the bed in her 
hurry ; she left her bonnet, too." 

" That ar 's lucky," said Loker ; " fork over." 

" Though the dogs might damage the gal, if 
they come on her unawars," said Haley. 

"That ar 's a consideration," said Marks. 
" Our dogs tore a feller half to pieces, once, 
down in Mobile, 'fore we could get 'em off." 

" Well, ye see, for this sort that 's to be sold 
for their looks, that ar won't answer, ye see," 
said Haley. 

" I do see," said Marks. " Besides, if she 's 
got took in, 'tan't no go, neither. Dogs is no 
'count in these yer up states where these critters 
gets carried ; of course, ye can't get on their track. 
They only does doAvn in plantations, where nig- 
gers, when they runs, has to do their own run- 
ning, and don't get no help." 

" Well," said Loker, who had just stepped out 
to the bar to make some inquiries, " they say the 
man 's come with the boat ; so, Marks — " 

That worthy cast a rueful look at the comfort- 
able quarters he was leaving, but slowly rose to 
obey. After exchanging a few words of further 
arrangement, Haley, with visible reluctance, 
handed over the fifty dollars to Tom, and the 
worthy trio separated for the night. 



If any of our refined and Christian readers ob- 
ject to the society into which this scene introduces 
them, let us beg them to begin and conquer their 
prejudices in time. The catching business, we 
beg to remind them, is rising to the dignity of a 
lawful and patriotic profession. If all the broad 
land between the Mississippi and the Pacific be- 
comes one great market for bodies and souls, and 
human property retains the locomotive tendencies 
of this nineteenth century, the trader and catcher 
may yet be among our aristocracy. 

"While this scene was going on at the tavern, 
Sam and Andy, in a state of high felicitation, 
pursued their way home. 

Sam was in the highest possible feather, and 
expressed his exultation by all sorts of supernatu- 
ral howls and ejaculations, by divers odd motions 
and contortions of his whole system. Sometimes 
he would sit backward, with his face to the 
horse's tail and sides, and then, with a whoop 
and a somerset, come right side up in his place 
again, and, drawing on a grave face, begin to lec- 
ture Andy in high-sounding tones for laughing 
and playing the fool. Anon, slapping his sides 
with his arms, he would burst forth in peals of 
laughter, that made the old woods ring as they 
passed. With all these evolutions, he contrived 
to keep the horses up to the top of their speed, 
until, between ten and eleven, their heels resound- 
ed on the gravel at the end of the balcony. Mrs, 
Shelby flew to the railings. 

" Is that you, Sam? Where are they?" 

" Mas'r Haley *s a-restin at the tavern ; he 's 
drefful fatigued, Missis." 

"And Eliza, Sam?" 

" Wal, she 's clar 'cross Jordan. As a body 
may say, in the land o' Canaan." 

" Why, Sam, what do you mean?" said Mrs. 
Shelby, breathless, and almost faint, as the pos- 
sible meaning of these words came over her. 

" Wal, Missis, the Lord he persarves his own. 
Lizy 's done gone over the river into 'II io, as 
'markably as if de Lord took her over i.n a charrit 
of fire and two hosses." 

Sam's vein of piety was always uncommonly 
fervent in his mistress' presence ; and he made 
great capital of scriptural figures and images. 

" Come up here, Sam," said Mr. Shelby, who 
had followed on to the veranda, "and tell your 
mistress what she wants. Come, come, Emily," 
said he, passing his arm round her, "you are 
cold and all in a shiver ; you allow yourself to 
feel too much." 

"Feel too much! Am not I a woman, — a 
mother? Are we not both responsible to God for 
this poor girl ? My God ! lay not this sin to our 
charge." 

"What sin, Emily? You sto yourself that 
we have only done what we were^obirged to." 

" There 's an awful feeling of guilt about it. 
though," said Mrs. Shelby. " I can't reason it 
away." 

"Here, Andy, you nigger, be alive!" called 
Sam, under the veranda ; " take these" yer hosses 
to der barn ; don't ye hear Mas'r a callin' ?" and 
Sam soon appeared, palm-leaf in hand, at the par- 
lor door. 

" Now, Sam, tell us distinctly how the mattes 
was," said Mr. Shelby. " Where is Eliza, if you 
know ? ' ' 

11 Wal, Mas'r, I saw her, with my own eyes, a 
crossin' on the noatin' ice. She crossed mo&fc 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



31 



^markably ; ifc was n't no less nor a miracle ; and 
I saw a man help her up the 'Hio side, and then 
she was lost in the dusk." 

"Sam, I think this rather apocryphal, — this 
miracle. Crossing on floating ice isn't so easily 
done," said Mr. Shelby. 

"Easy! couldn't nobody a done it, widout de 
Lord. Why, now," said Sam, "'twas jist dis 
yer way. Mas'r Haley, and me, and Andy, we 
comes up to de little tavern by the river, and I 
rides a leetle ahead, — (I 's so zealous to be a 
cotchin' Lizy, that I could n't hold in, no way) , — > 
and when I comes by the tavern winder, sure 
enough there she was, right in plain sight, and 
dey diggin' on behind. Wal, I loses off' my hat, 
and sings out nuff to raise the dead. Course, 
Lizy she hars, and she dodges back, when Mas'r 
Haley he goes past the door ; and then, I tell ye, 
she clared out de side door ; she went down de 
river bank ; — Mas'r Haley he seed her, and 
yelled out, and him, and me, and Andy, we took 
arter. DoAvn she come to the river, and thar was 
the current running ten feet wide by the shore, 
and over 't other side ice a sawin' and jiggling 
up and down, kinder as 't were a great island. 
We come right behind her, and I thought my 
soul he 'd got her, sure enough, — when she gin 
sich a screech as I never hearn, and thar she was, 
clar over t' other side the current, on the ice, and 
then on she went, a screeching and a jumpin', — 
the ice went crack ! c' wallop ! cracking ! chunk ! 
and she a boundin' like a buck ! Lord, the spring 
that ar gal 's got in her an't common, I 'm o' 
'pinion." 

Mrs. Shelby sat perfectly silent, pale with ex- 
citement, while Sam told his story. 

" God be praised, she isn't dead!" she said; 
" but where is the poor child now?" 

" De Lord will pervide," said Sam, rolling up 
his eyes piously. " As I 've been a sayin', dis 
yer 's a providence and no mistake, as Missis has 
allers been a instructin' on us. Thar's allers 
instruments ris up to do de Lord's will. Now, 
if 't hadn't been for me to-day, she 'd a been 
took a dozen times. Warn't it I started off de 
hosses, dis yer mornin', and kept 'em chasin' till 
nigh dinner time ? And did n't I car Mas'r Haley 
nigh five miles out of de road, dis evening, or else 
he 'd a come up with Lizy as easy as a dog arter 
a. coon 1 ? These yer 's all providences." 

" They are a kind of providences that you '11 
have to be pretty sparing of, Master Sam. I 
allow no such practices with gentlemen on my 
place," said Mr. Shelby, with as much sternness 
as he could command, under the circumstances. 

Now, there is no more use in making believe be 
angry with a negro than with a child ; both in- 
stinctively see the true state of the case, through 
all attempts to affect the contrary ; and Sam was 
in no wise disheartened by this rebuke, though 
he assumed an air of doleful gravity, and stood 
with the corners of his mouth lowered in most 
penitential style. 

" Mas'r 's quite right, — quite ; it was ugly on 
me, — there 's no disputin' that ar ; and of 
course Mas'r and Missis wouldn't encourage no 
such works. I 'm sensible of dat ar ; but a poor 
nigger like me 's 'mazin' tempted to act ugly 
sometimes, when fellers will cut up such shines 
as dat ar Mas'r Haley ; he an't no gen'l'man, no 
way'; anybody 's been raised as I 've been can't 
help a seeir.' dat ar." 

" Well, Sam," said Mrs. Shelby, " as you ap- 



pear to have a proper sense of your errors, you 
may go now and tell Aunt Chloe she may get you 
some of that cold ham that Avas left of dinner to- 
day. You and Andy must be hungry." 

" Missis is a heap too good for us," said Sam, 
making his bow with alacrity, and departing. 

It will be perceived, as has been before inti 
mated, that Master Sam had a native talent that 
might, undoubtedly, have raised him to eminence 
in political life, — a talent of making capital out 
of everything that turned up, to be invested for 
his own especial praise and glory ; and having 
clone up his piety and humility, as he trusted, to 
the satisfaction of the parlor, he clapped his 
palm-leaf on his head, with a sort of rakish, free- 
and-easy air, and proceeded to the dominions of 
Aunt Chloe, with the intention of flourishing 
largely in the kitchen. 

" I '11 speechify these yer niggers," said Sam 
to himself, " now I 've got a chance. Lord, I '11 
reel it off to make 'em stare !" 

It must be observed that one of Sam's especial 
delights had been to ride in attendance on his 
master to all kinds of political gatherings, where, 
roosted on some rail fence, or perched aloft in 
some tree, he would sit Avatching the orators, 
with the greatest apparent gusto, and then, de- 
scending among the various brethren of his own 
color, assembled on the same errand, he would 
edify and delight them with the most ludicrous 
burlesques and imitations, all delivered with the 
most imperturbable earnestness and solemnity ; 
and though the auditors immediately about him 
were generally of his own color, it not unfre- 
quently happened that they were fringed pretty 
deeply with those of a fairer complexion, who 
listened, laughing and winking, to Sam's great 
self-congratulation. In fact, Sam considered ora- 
tory as his vocation, and never let slip an oppor- 
tunity of magnifying his office. 

Now, between Sam and Aunt Chloe there had 
existed, from ancient times, a sort of chronic 
feud, or rather a decided coolness ; but, as Sam 
was meditating something in the provision de- 
partment, as the necessary and obvious founda- 
tion of his operations' - , he determined, on the 
present occasion, to be eminently conciliatory ; 
for he well knew that although " Missis' orders " 
would undoubtedly be followed to the letter, yet 
he should gain a considerable deal by enlisting 
the spirit also. He therefore appeared before 
Aunt Chloe with a touch ingly subdued, resigned 
expression, like one who has suffered immeasura- 
ble hardships in behalf of a persecuted fellow- 
creature, — enlarged upon the fact that Missis 
had directed him to come to Aunt Chloe for 
whatever might be wanting to make up the bal- 
ance in his solids and fluids, — and thus une- 
quivocally acknowledged her right and suprem- 
acy in the cooking department, and all thereto 
pertaining. 

The thing took accordingly. No poor, simple, 
virtuous body was ever cajoled by the attentions 
of an electioneering politician with more ease than 
Aunt Chloe was won over by Master Sam's suav- 
ities ; and if he had been the prodigal son him- 
self, he could not have been overwhelmed with 
more maternal bouutifulness ; and he soon found 
himself seated, happy and glorious, over a largo 
tin pan, containing a sort of olla podrida of all 
that had appeared on the table for two or three 
days past. Savory morsels of ham, golden blocks 
of corn-cake, fragments of pie of every conceiva- 



32 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN \ OR, 



blc mathematical figure, chicken wings, gizzards, 
and drumsticks, all appeared in picturesque con- 
fusion ; and Sam, as monarch of all he surveyed, 
sat with his palm-leaf cocked rejoicingly to one 
■ide, and patronizing Andy at his right hand. 

The kitchen was full of all his compeers, who 
had hurried and crowded in, from the various 
cabins, to hear the termination of the day's ex- 
ploits. Now was Sam's hour of glory. The story 
of the day was rehearsed, with all kinds of orna- 
ment and varnishing which might be necessary to 
heighten its effect ; for Sam, like some of our 
fashionable dilettanti, never allowed a story to 
lose any of its gilding by passing through his 
hands. Roars of laughter attended the narration, 
and were taken up and prolonged by all the 
smaller fry, who were lying, in any quantity, 
about on the floor, or perched in every corner. 
In the height of the uproar and laughter, Sam, 
however, preserved an immovable gravity, only 
from time to time rolling his eyes up, and giving 
his auditors divers inexpressibly droll glances, 
without departing from the sententious elevation 
of his oratory. 

"Yer see, fellow-countrymen," said Sam, ele- 
vating a turkey's leg, with energy, " yer see, now, 
what dis yer chile 's up ter, for 'fendin' yer all, — 
yes, all on yer. For him as tries to get one o' our 
people, is as good as try in' to get all ; yer see the 
principle 's de same, — dat ar 's clar. And any 
one o' these yer drivers that comes smelling round 
arter any our people, why, he 's got me in his way ; 
I'm the feller he 's got to set in with, — I 'm the 
feller for yer all to come to, bredrcn. — I '11 stand 
up for yer rights, — I ' 11 'fend 'em to the last 
breath!'" 

" Why, but Sam, yer telled me, only this 
mornin', that you 'd help this yer Mas'r to cotch 
Lizy ; seems to me yer talk don't hang together," 
said Andy. 

" I tell you now, Andy," said Sam, with awful 
superiority, "don't yer be a talkin' 'bout what 
yer don't know nothin' on ; boys like you, Andy, 
means well, but they can't be spected to collusi- 
tate the great principles of action." 

Andy looked rebuked, particularly by the hard 
word collusitate, which most of the younger 
members of the company seemed to consider as a 
settler in the case, while Sam proceeded. 

" Dat ar was conscience, Andy ; when I thought 
of gwine arter Lizy, I railly sp^cted Mas'r was 
sot dat way. When I found Missis was sot the 
contrar, dat ar was conscience more yet, — cause 
fellers allers gets more by stickin' to Missis' side, 
— so yer see I 's persistent either way, and sticks 
up to conscience, and holds on to principles. 
Yes, principles," said Sam, giving an enthusiastic 
toss to a chicken's neck. — "what's principles 
good for, if we isn't persistent, I wanter know? 
Thar, Andy, you may have dat ar bone, — 'tan't 
picked quite clean." 

Sam's audience hanging on his words with open 
mouth, he could not but proceed. 

"Dis yer matter 'bout persistence, feller-nig- 
gers," said Sam, Avith the air of one entering into 
an abstruse subject, " dis yer 'sistency 's a thing 
what an't seed into very clar, by most anybody. 
Now, yer see, when a feller stands up for a thing 
one day and night, de contrar de next, folks ses 
(and nat'rally enough dey ses), Why, he an't per- 
sistent, — hand me dat ar bit o' corn-cake, Andy. 
But let 's look inter it. I hope the gen'lmen and 
der fair sex will scuse my usin' an or'nary sort o' 



'parison. Here ! I 'm a tryin' to get top o' der 
hay. Wal, I puts up my larder (lis yer side ; 
'tan't no go; — den, cause 1 don't try dere no 
more, but puts my larder right de contrar side, 
an't I persistent] I'm persistent in wantin' to 
get up, which ary side my larder is ; don't you 
see, all on yer?" 

" It \s the only tiling ye ever was persistent in, 
Lord knows!" muttered Aunt Chloe, who was 
getting rather restive; the merriment of the 
evening being to her somewhat after the Scrip- 
ture comparison, — like " vinegar upon nitre." 

" Yes, indeed ! " said Sam, rising, full of sup- 
per and glory, for a closing effort. " Yes, my 
feller-citizens and ladies of de other sex in gen- 
eral, I has principles, — I'm proud to 'oon 'em, 
— they 's perquisite to dese yer times, and ter all 
times. I has principles, and I sticks to 'cm like 
forty, — jest anything that I thinks is principle, I 
goes in to 't ; — I wouldn't mind if dey burnt 
me 'live, — I'd walk right up to de stake, I 
would, and say, Here I comes to shed my last 
blood fur my principles, fur my country, fur der 
gen'l interests of s'ciety." 

" W r ell," said Aunt Chloe, " one o' yer princi- 
ples will have to be to get to bed some time to- 
night, and not be a keepin' everybody up till 
mornin' ; now, every one of you young uns that 
don't want to be cracked had better be scase, 
mighty sudden." 

" Niggers ! all on yer," said Sam, waving his 
palm-leaf with benignity, " I give yer my blessin' ; 
go to bed now, and be good boys." 

And, with this pathetic benediction, the assem- 
bly dispersed. 



CHAPTER IX. 

IN WHICH IT APPEARS THAT A SENATOR IS BUT A 
MAN. 

The light of the cheerful fire shone on the rug 
and carpet of a cosey parlor, and glittered on the 
sides of the tea-cups and well-brightened tea-pot, 
as Senator Bird was drawing off his boots, pre- 
paratory to inserting his feet in a pair of new 
handsome slippers, which his wife had been 
working for him while away on his senatorial 
tour. Mrs. Bird, looking the very picture of 
delight, was superintending the arrangements of 
the table, ever and anon mingling admonitory 
remarks to a number of frolicsome juveniles, who 
were effervescing in all those modes of untold 
gambol and mischief that have astonished mothers 
ever since the flood. 

"Tom,. let the door-knob alone, — there's a 
man ! Mary ! Mary ! don't pull the cat's tail, 
— poor pussy ! Jim, you mustn't climb on that 
table, — no, no! — You don't know, my dear, 
what a surprise it is to us all, to see you here to- 
night !" said she, at last, when she found a space 
to say something to her husband. 

" Yes, yes, I thought I 'd just make a run down, 
spend the night, and have a little comfort at home. 
I 'm tired to death, and my. head aches !" 

Mrs. Bird cast a glance at a camphor-bottle, 
which stood in the half-open closet, and appeared 
to meditate an approach to it, but her husband 
interposed. 

"No, no, Mary, no doctoring ! a cup of your 
good hot tea, and some of our good home living, 
is what I want. It 's a tiresome business, this 
legislating ! ' ' 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



33 



And the senator smiled, as if he rather liked 
the idea of considering himself a sacrifice to his 
country. 

"Well," said his wife, after the business of 
the tea-table was getting rather slack, " and what 
have they been doing in the Senate ? ' ' 

Now, it was a very unusual thing for gentle 
little Mrs. Bird ever to trouble her head with 
what was going on in the house of the state, very 
wisely considering that she had enough to do to 
mind her oavu. Mr. Bird, therefore, opened his 
eyes in surprise, and said, 

" Not very much of importance." 

" Well ; but is it true that they have been pass- 
ing a law forbidding to give meat and drink to 
those poor eolored folks that come along? I 
heard they were talking of some such law, but I 
didn't think any Christian legislature would 
pass it! " 

"Why, Mary, you are getting to be a poli- 
tician, all at once." 

" No, nonsense ! I wouldn't give a fip for all 
your politics, generally, but I think this is some- 
thing downright cruel and unchristian. I hope, 
my dear, no such law has been passed." 

" There has been a law passed forbidding peo- 
ple to help off the slaves that come over from 
Kentucky, my dear ; so much of that thing has 
been done by these reckless Abolitionists, that our 
brethren in Kentucky are very strongly excited, 
and it seems necessary, and no more than Chris- 
tian and kind, that something should be done by 
our state to quiet the excitement." 

" And what is the law? It don't forbid us to 
shelter these poor ereatures a night, does it, and 
to give 'em something comfortable to eat, and a 
few old clothes, and send them quietly about 
their business'? " 

"Why, yes, my dear; that would be aiding 
and abetting, you know." 

Mrs. Bird was a timid, blushing little woman, 
of about four feet in height, and with mild blue 
eyes, and a peach-blow complexion, and the gen- 
tlest, sweetest voice in the world; — as for cour- 
age, a moderate-sized cock-turkey had been known 
to put her to rout at the very first gobble, and 
a stout house-dog, of moderate capacity, would 
bring her into subjection merely by a show of his 
teeth. Her husband and children were her entire 
world, and in these she ruled more by entreaty 
and persuasion than by command or argument. 
There was only one thing that was capable of 
arousing her, and that provocation came in on the 
side of her unusually gentle and sympathetic 
nature ; — anything in the shape of cruelty would 
throw her into a passion, which was the more 
alarming and inexplicable in proportion to the 
general softness of her nature. Generally the 
most indulgent and easy to be entreated of all 
mothers, still her boys had a very reverent re- 
membrance of a most vehement chastisement she 
once bestowed on them, because she found them 
leagued with several graceless boys of the neigh- 
borhood, stoning a defenceless kitten. 

" I '11 tell you what," Master Bill used to say, 
" I was scared, that time. Mother came at me so 
that I thought she was crazy, and I was whipped 
and tumbled off to bed, without any supper, be- 
fore I could get over wondering what had come 
about ; and, after thfflP, I heard mother crying 
outside the door, which made me feel worse than 
all the rest. I '11 tell you what," he 'd say, " we 
boys never stoned another kitten ! " 

3 



On the present occasion, Mrs. Bird rose quick- 
ly, with very red cheeks, which quite improved 
her general appearance, and walked up to her 
husband, with quite a resolute air, and said, in a 
determined tone, 

" Now, John, I want to know if you think such 
a law as that is right and Christian ! " 

" You won't shoot me, now, Mary, if I say I 
do!" 

" I never could have thought it of you, John ; 
you didn't vote for it? " 

" Even so," my fair politician. 

"You ought to be ashamed, John! Poor, 
homeless, houseless creatures ! It 's a shameful, 
wicked, abominable law, and I '11 break it, for one, 
the first time I get a chance ; and I hope I shall 
have a chance, I do ! Things have got to a pretty 
pass, if a woman can't give a warm supper and 
a bed to poor, starving creatures, just because 
they are slaves, and have been abused and op- 
pressed all their lives, poor things !" 

" But, Mary, just listen to me. Your feelings 
are all quite right, my dear, and interesting, and 
I love you for them ; but, then, dear, we mustn't 
suffer our feelings to run away with our judg- 
ment ; you must consider it 's not a matter of 
private feeling, — there are great public interest? 
involved, — there is such a state of public agitar- 
tion rising, that we must put aside our private 
feelings." 

" Now, John, I don't know anything about pol- 
itics, but I Can read my Bible ; and there I see 
that I must feed the hungry, clothe the naked 
and comfort the desolate ; and that Bible I mean 
to follow." 

' ' But in cases where your doing so would in- 
volve a great public evil — " 

" Obeying God never brings on public evils. I 
know it can't. It's always safest, all round, to 
do as He bids us." 

" Now, listen to me, Mary, and I can state to 
you a very clear argument, to show — " 

"0, nonsense, John ! you can talk all night, 
but you would n't do it. I put it to you, John, 
would you now turn away a poor, shivering, hun- 
gry creature from your door, because he was a 
runaway? Would you, now ? " 

Now, if the truth must be told, our senator had 
the misfortune to be a man who had a particu- 
larly humane and accessible nature, and turning 
away anybody that was in trouble never had been 
his forte ; and what was worse for him in this 
particular pinch of the argument was, that his 
wife knew it, and, of course, was making an as- 
sault on rather an indefensible point. So he had 
recourse to the usual means of gaining time for 
such cases made and provided ; he said " ahem," 
and coughed several times, took out his pocket- 
handkerchief, and began to wipe his glasses. 
Mrs. Bird, seeing the defenceless condition of the 
enemy's territory, had no more conscience than to 
push her advantage. 

" I should like to see you doing that, John — I 
really should ! Turning a woman out of doors in 
a snow-storm, for instance'; or, may be you'd 
take her up and put her in jail, wouldn't you? 
You would make a great hand at that ! ' ' 

" Of course, it would be a very painful duty," 
began Mr. Bird, in a moderate tone. 

"Duty, John! don't use that word! You 
know it isn't a duty — it can't be a duty ! If 
folks want to keep their slaves from running 
away, lot 'em treat 'em well, — that's my d#e- 



34 






UNCLE TOM'S CABIN : OR 



trine. If I hud slaves (as I liopo I never shall 
have), I 'd risk their wanting to run away from 
mo, or you either, John. I tell you folks don't 
run away when they are happy ; and when they 
do run, poor creatures ! they suffer enough with 
cold and hunger and fear, without everybody's 
turning against them ; and, law or no law, I 
never will, so help me God !" 

"Mary! Mary! My dear, let mo reason with 
you." 

"I hate reasoning, John, — especially reason- 
ing on such subjects. There 's a way you polit- 
ical folks have of coming round and round a 
plain right thing ; and you don't believe it your- 
selves, when it comes to practice. I know you 
well enough, John. You don't believe it 's right 
any more than I do ; and you would n't do it any 
sooner than I." 

At this critical juncture, old Cudjoe, the black 
man-o ('-all- work, put his head in at the door, and 
wished " Missis would come into the kitchen;" 
and our senator, tolerably relieved, looked after his 
little wife with a whimsical mixture of amusement 
and vexation, and, seating himself in the arm- 
chair, began to read the papers. 

After a moment, his wife's voice was heard at 
the door, in a quick, earnest tone, — "John! 
John ! I do wish you 'd come here a moment." 

He laid down his paper, and went into the 
kitchen, and started, quite amazed at the sight 
that presented itself: — A young and slender 
woman, with garments torn and frozen, with one 
shoe gone, and the stocking torn away from the 
cut and bleeding foot, was laid back in a deadly 
swoon upon two chairs. There was the impress 
of the despised race on her face, yet none could 
help feeling its mournful and pathetic beauty, while 
its stony sharpness, its cold, fixed, deathly aspect, 
struck a solemn chill over him. He drew his 
breath short, and stood in silence. His wife, and 
their only colored domestic, old Aunt Dinah, were 
busily engaged in restorative measures ; while old 
Cudjoe had got the boy on his knee, and was busy 
pulling off his shoes and stockings, and chafing his 
little cold feet. 

" Sure, now, if she an't a sight to behold !" said 
old Dinah, compassionately ; " 'pears like 'twas 
the heat that made her faint. She was tollable 
peart when she cum in, and asked if she could n't 
warm herself here a spell ; and I was just a askin' 
her where she cum from, and she fainted right 
down. Never done much hard work, guess, by 
the looks of her hands." 

" Poor creature !" said Mrs. Bird, compassion- 
ately, as the woman slowly unclosed her large, 
dark eyes, and looked vacantly at her. Suddenly 
an expression of agony crossed her face, and she 
sprang up, saying, " O, my Harry ! Have they 
got him 1" 

The boy, at this, jumped from Cudjoe's knee, 
and, running to her side, put up his arms. " 0, 
he 's here ! he 's here !" she exclaimed. 

" 0, ma'am !" said she, wildly, to' Mrs. Bird, 
" do protect us ! don't let them get him !" 

" Nobody shall hurt you here, poor woman," 
said Mrs. Bird, encouragingly. " You are safe ; 
don't be afraid." 

"God bless you!" said the woman, covering 
her face and sobbing ; while the little boy, seeing 
her crying, tried to get into her lap. 

With many gentle and womanly offices, which 
none knew better how to render than Mrs. Bird, 
the poor woman was, in time, rendered more calm. 



1 



A temporary bed was provided for her on the set 
tie, near the lire ; and, after a short time, she feL 
into a heavy slumber, with the child, who seemed 
no less weary, soundly sleeping on her arm ; lor 
the mother resisted, with nervous anxiety, tho 
kindest attempts to take him from her ; and, even 
in sleep, her arm encircled him with an unrelaxin 
clasp, as if she could not even then be beguiled 
her vigilant hold. 

Mr. and Mrs. Bird had gone back to the parlor, 
where, strange as it may appear, no reference was 
made, on either side, to the preceding conversa- 
tion ; but Mrs. Bird busied herself with her knit- 
ting-work, and Mr. Bird pretended to be reading 
the paper. 

" I wonder who and what she is !" said Mr 
Bird, at last, as he laid it down. 

" When she wakes up and feels a little rested 
we will see," said Mrs. Bird. 

" I say, wife !" said Mr. Bird, after musing ic> 
silence over his newspaper. 

"Well, dear!" 

" She could n't wear one of your gowns, could 
she, by any letting down, or such matter ? She 
seems to be rather larger than you are." 

A quite perceptible smile glimmered on Mrs. 
Bird's face, as she answered, " We '11 see." 

Another pause, and Mr. Bird ag^m broke out, 

" I say, wife !" 

"Well! What now?" 

" Why, there 's that old bombazin cloak, that 
you keep on purpose to put over me when I take 
my afternoon's nap ; you might as well give her 
that, — she needs clothes." 

At this instant, Dinah looked in to say that the 
woman was awake, and wanted to see Missis. 

Mr. and Mrs. Bird went into the kitchen, fol- 
lowed by the two eldest boys*, the smaller fry 
having, by this time, been safely disposed of in 
bed. 

The woman was now sitting up on the settle, by 
the fire. She was looking steadily into the blaze, 
with a calm, heart-broken expression, very differ- 
ent from her former agitated wildness. 

" Did you want me?" said Mrs. Bird, in gen- 
tle tones. " I hope you feel better now, poor 
woman !" 

A long-drawn, shivering sigh was the only an- 
swer ; but she lifted her dark eyes, and fixed them 
on her with such a forlorn and imploring expres- 
sion, that the tears came into the little woman's 
eyes. 

"You needn't be afraid of anything; we are 
friends here, poor woman I Tell me where you 
came from, and what you want," said she. 

" I came from Kentucky," said the woman. 

" When?" said Mr. Bird, taking up the inter- 
rogatory. 

"To-night." 

" How did you come ?" 

" I crossed on the ice." 

" Crossed on the ice !" said every one present. 

" Yes," said the woman, slowly, " I did. God 
helping me, I crossed on the ice; for they were 
behind me — right behind — and there was no 
other way ! ' ' 

" Law, Missis," said Cudjoe, " the ice is all 
in broken-up blocks, a swinging and a tetering up 
and down in the water !" 

" I know it was — I know it !" said she, wildly ; 
" but I did it ! I would n't have thought I could, 
— I did n't think 1 should get over, but I did n't 
care! I could- but die, if I didn't. The Lord 



LIFE AM0N6 THE LOWLY. 



35 



helped me ; nobody knows how much the Lord can 
help 'em, till they try," said the woman, with a 
flashing eye. 

" Were you a slave ?" said Mr. Bird. 

" Yes, sir ; I belonged to a man in Kentucky." 

«< Was be unkind to you?" 

" No, sir ; he was a good master." 

" And was your mistress unkind to you V 

"No, sir — no! my mistress was always good 
to me." 

" What could induce you to leave a good home, 
then, and run away, and go through such dan- 
gers?" 

The woman looked up at Mrs. Bird, with a keen, 
scrutinizing glance, and it did not escape her that 
she was dressed in deep mourning. 

" Ma'am," she said, suddenly, " have you ever 
lost a child?" 

The question was unexpected, and it was a 
thrust on a new wound ; for it was only a month 
since a darling child of the family had been laid 
in the grave. 

Mr. Bird turned around and walked to the win- 
dow, and Mrs. Bird burst into tears ; but, recov- 
ering her voice, she said, 

" Why do you ask that? I have lost a little 
one." 

" Then you will feel for me. I have lost two, 
one after another, — left 'em buried there when I 
came away ; and I had only this one left. I never 
slept a night without him ; he was all I had. He 
was my comfort and pride, day and night; and, 
ma'am, they were going to take him away from 
me, — to sell him, — sell him down south, ma'am, 
to go all alone, — a baby that had never been 
away from his mother in his life! I couldn't 
stand it, ma'am. I knew I never should be good 
for anything, if they did ; and when I knew the 
papers were signed, and he was sold, I took him 
and came off in the night ; and they chased me, 
— the man that bought him, and some of Mas'r's 
folks, — and they were coming down right behind 
me, and I heard 'em. I jumped right on to the 
ice; and how I got across, I don't know, — but, 
first- I knew, a man was helping me up the 
bank." 

The woman did not sob nor weep. She had 

gone to a place where tears are dry ; but every 

one around her was, in some way characteristic 

. of themselves, showing signs of hearty sympathy. 

The two little boys, after a desperate rummag- 
ing in their pockets, in search of those pocket- 
handkerchiefs which mothers know are never to 
be found there, had thrown themselves disconso- 
lately into the skirts of their mother's gown, 
where they were sobbing, and wiping their eyes 
and noses to their hearts' content ; — Mrs. Bird 
had her face fairly hidden in her pocket-hand- 
kerchief; and old Dinah, with tears streaming- 
down hei black, honest face, was ejaculating, 
" Lord have mercy on us !" with all the fervor of 
a camp-meeting; — while old Cudjoe, rubbing 
his eyes very hard with his cuffs, and making a 
most uncommon variety of wry faces, occasionally 
responded in the same key, with- great fervor. 
Our senator was a statesman, and of course could 
not be expected to cry, like other mortals ; and so 
he turned his back to the company, and looked 
out of the window, and seemed particularly busy 
in clearing his throat and wiping his spectacle- 
glasses, occasionally blowing his nose in a man- 
ner that was calculated to excite suspicion, ha$l 
any one been in a state to observe critically. 



" How came you to tell me you had a kind 
master?" he suddenly exclaimed, gulping down 
very resolutely some kind of rising in his throat, 
and turning suddenly round upon the woman. 

" Because he was a kind master ; I '11 say that 
of him, any way ; — and my mistress was kind ; 
but they couldn't help themselves. They Avere 
owing money ; and there was some way, I can't 
tell how, that a man had a hold on them, and 
they were obliged to give him his will. I listened, 
and heard him telling mistress that, and she 
begging and pleading for me, — and he told her 
he couldn't help himself, and that the papers 
were all drawn ; — and then it was I took him 
and left my home,- and came away. I knew 't was 
no use of my trying to live, if they did it ; for 't 
'pears like this child is all I have." 

" Have you no husband?" 

"Yes, but he belongs to another man. His 
master is real hard to him, and won't let him 
come t r see me, hardly ever ; and he 's grown 
harder and' harder upon us, and he threatens to 
sell him down south'; — it's like I '11 never see 
him again ! ' ' 

The quiet tone in which the woman pronounced 
these words might have led a superficial observer 
to think that she was entirely apathetic ; but 
there was a calm, settled depth of anguish in her 
large, dark eye, that spoke of something far 
otherwise. 

"And where do you mean to go, my poor 
woman?" said Mrs. Bird. 

" To Canada, if I only knew where that was. 
Is it very far off, is Canada?" said she, looking 
up, with a simple, confiding air, to Mrs. Bird's 
face. 

" Poor thing !" said Mrs. Bird, involuntarily. 

" Is 't a very great way off, think?" said the 
woman, earnestly. 

"Much further than you think, poor child!" 
said Mrs. Bird ; " but we will try to think what 
can be done for you. Here, Dinah, make her up 
a bed in your own room, close by the kitchen, and 
I '11 think what to do for her in the morning. 
Meanwhile, never fear, poor woman ; put your 
trust in God ; he will protect you." 

Mrs. Bird and her husband reentered the par- 
lor. She sat down in her little rocking-chair 
before the fire, swaying thoughtfully to and fro. 
Mr. Bird strode up and down the room, grum- 
bling to himself, "Pish! pshaw! confounded 
awkward business!" At length, striding up to 
his wife, he said, 

" I say, wife, she '11 have to get away from 
here, this very night. That fellow will be down 
on the scent bright and early to-morrow morning ; 
if 'twas only the woman, she could lie quiet till 
it was over ; but that little chap can't be kept 
still by a troop of horse and foot, I '11 warrant 
me ; he '11 bring it all out, popping his head out 
of some window or door. A pretty kettle of fish 
it would be for me, too, to be caught with them 
bath here, just now ! No ; they '11 have to be got 
off to-night." 

" To-night ! How is it possible ? — where to ? " 

" Well, I know pretty well where to," said the 
senator, beginning to put on his boots, with a 
reflective air ; and, stopping when his leg was 
half in, he embraced his knee with both hands, 
and seemed to go off in deep meditation. 

"It's a confounded awkward, ugly business." 
said he, at last, beginning to tug at his bo fc- 
straps again, "and that's a fact! " After o;;o 



36 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN .* OR, 



boot was fairly on, tho senator sat with the other 
in his band, profoundly studying the figure of the 
carpet. "It will have to be done, though, for 
aught I sec, — hang it all!" and ho drew the 
other boot anxiously on, and looked out of the 
window. 

Now, little Mrs. Bird was a discreet woman, — 
a woman who never in her life said, " I told you 
so!" and, on the present occasion, though pretty 
well aware of the shape her husband's medita- 
tions were taking, she very prudently forbore to 
meddle with them ; only sat very quietly in her 
chair, and looked quite ready to hear her liege 
lord's intentions, when he should think proper to 
utter them. 

"You see," ho said, "there's my old client, 
Van Trompe, has come over from Kentucky, and 
set all his slaves free ; and he has bought a place 
seven miles up the creek, here, back in the woods, 
where nobody goes, unless they go on purpose ; 
and it 's a place that is n't found in a hurry. 
There she 'd be safe enough ; but the plague of 
the thing is, nobody could drive a carriage there 
to-night, but me." 

" Why not? Cudjoe is an excellent driver." 
" Ay, ay, but here it is. The creek has to be 
crossed twice ; and the second crossing is quite 
dangerous, unless one knows it as I do. I have 
crossed it a hundred times on horseback, and 
know exactly the turns to take. And so, you see, 
there 's no help for it. Cudjoe must put in the 
horses, as quietly as may be, about twelve o'clock, 
and I '11 take her over ; and then, to give color to 
the matter, he must carry me on to the next tav- 
ern, to take the stage for Columbus, that comes 
by about three or four, and so it will look as if I 
had had the carriage only for that. I shall get 
into business bright and early in the morning. 
But I 'm thinking I shall feel rather cheap there, 
after all that 's been said and done j but, hang 
it, I can't help it!" 

" Your heart is better than your head, in this 
case, John," said the wife, laying her little white 
hand on his. " Could I ever have loved you, had 
I not known you better than you know yourself?" 
And the little woman looked so handsome, with 
the tears sparkling in her eyes, that the senator 
thought he must be a decidedly clever fellow, to 
get such a pretty creature into such a passionate 
admiration of him ; and so, what could he do but 
walk off soberly, to see about the carriage. At 
the door, however, he stopped a moment, and then 
coming back, he said, with some hesitation, 

" Mary, I don't know how you'd feel about it, 
but there 's that drawer full of things — of — of 
— poor little Henry's." So saying, he turned 
quickly on his heel, and shut the door after him. 
His wife opened the little bed-room door ad- 
joining her room, and, taking the candle, set it 
down on the top of a bureau there ; then from a 
small recess she took a key, and put it thought- 
fully in the lock of a drawer, and made a sudden 
pause, while two boys, who, boy-like, had fol- 
lowed close on her heels, stood looking, with 
silent, significant glances, at their mother. And 
! mother that reads this, has there never been 
in your house a drawer, or a closet, the opening 
of which has been to you like the opening again 
of a little grave? Ah! happy mother that you 
are, if it has not been so. 

Mrs. Bird slowly opened the drawer. There 
were little coats of many a form and pattern, 
piles of aprons, and rows of small stockings ; and 



even a pair of little shoes, worn and rubbed at 
the toes, were peeping from the folds of a paper. 
There was a foy horse and wagon, a top, a ball, 

— memorials gathered with many a tear and many 
a heart-break ! She sat down by the drawer, 
and, leaning her head on her hands" over it, wept 
till the tears fell through her fingers into tho 
drawer; then suddenly raising h(;r head, she be- 
gan, with nervous haste, selecting the plainest 
and most substantial articles, and gathering them 
into a bundle. 

" Mamma," said one of the boys T gently touch- 
ing her arm, " are you going to give away those 
things ? ' ' 

" My dear boys," she said, softly and earnestly, 
" if our dear, loving little Henry looks down from 
heaven, he would be glad to have us do this. I 
could not find it in my heart to give them away 
to any common person — to anybody that was 
happy ; but I give them to a mother more heart- 
broken and sorrowful than I am ; and I hope God 
will send his blessings with them !" 

There are in this world blessed souls, whose 
sorrows all spring up into joys for others ; whoso 
earthly hopes, laid in the grave with many tears> 
are the seed from which spring healing flowers and 
balm for the desolate and the distressed. Among 
such was the delicate woman who sits there by 
the lamp, dropping slow tears, while she prepares 
the, memorials of her own lost one for the outcast 
wanderer. 

After a while, Mrs. Bird opened a wardroba, 
and, taking from thence a plain, serviceable dress 
or two, she sat down busily to her work-table*, 
and, with needle, scissors and thimble, at hand, 
quietly commenced the " letting doAvn" process 
which her husband had recommended, and coi> 
tinued busily at it till the old clock in the corner 
struck twelve, and she heard the low rattling of 
wheels at the door. 

" Mary," said her husband, coming in, with 
his overcoat in his hand, " you must wake her up 
now ; we must be off." 

Mrs. Bird hastily deposited the various articles 
she had collected in a small plain trunk, and 
locking it, desired her husband to see it in tho 
carriage, and then proceeded to call the woman. 
Soon, arrayed in a cloak, bonnet and shawl, that 
had belonged to her benefactress, she appeared 
at the door with her child in her arms., Mr. Bird 
hurried her into the carriage, and Mrs. Bird 
pressed on after her to the carriage steps. Eliza 
leaned out of the carriage, and put out her hand, 

— a hand as soft and beautiful as was given in 
return. She fixed her large, dark eyes, full of 
earnest meaning, on Mrs. Bird's face, and seemed 
going to speak. Her lips moved, — she tried 
once or twice, but there was no sound, — and 
pointing upward, with a look never to be forgot- 
ten, she fell back in the seat, and covered her 
face. The door was shut, and the carriage drove 
on. 

What a situation, now, for a patriotic senator, 
that had been all the week before spurring up the 
legislature of -his native state to pass more strinr 
gent resolutions against escaping fugitives, their 
harborers and abettors ! 

Our good senator in his native state had not 
been exceeded by any of his brethren at Wash- 
ington, in the sort of eloquence which has won 
for them immortal renown ! How sublimely he 
had sat with his hands in his pockets, and scouted 
all sentimental weakness of those who would 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



3* 



put the welfare of a few miserable fugitives be- 
Fore great state interests ! 

He was as bold as a lion about it, and " might- 
ily convinced" not only himself, but everybody 
that heard him ; — but then his idea of a fugitive 
was only an idea of the letters that spell the 
word, — or, at the most, the image of a little 
newspaper picture of a man with a stick and 
bundle, with " Ran away from the subscriber" 
under it. The magic of the,real presence of dis- 
tress, — the imploring human eye, the frail, 
trembling human hand, the despairing appeal of 
helpless agony, — these he had never tried. 
He had never thought that a fugitive might 
be a hapless mother, a defenceless child, — 
like that one which was now wearing his lost 
boy's little well-known cap ; and so, as our poor 
senator was not stone or steel, — as he was a man, 
and a downright noble-hearted one, too, — he 
was, as everybody must see, in a sad case for his 
patriotism. And you need not exult over him, 
good brother of the Southern States ; for we have 
some inklings that many of you, under similar 
circumstances, would not do much better. We 
have reason to know, in Kentucky, as in Missis- 
sippi, are noble and generous hearts, to whom 
never was tale of suffering told in vain. Ah, 
good brother ! is it fair for you to expect of us 
services which your own brave, honorable heart 
would not allow you to render, were you in our 
place ? 

Be that as it may, if our good senator was a 
political sinner, he was in a fair way to expiate 
it by his night's penance. There had been a long 
continuous period of rainy weather, and the soft, 
rich earth of Ohio, as every one knows, is admi- 
rably suited to the manufacture of mud, — and 
the road was an Ohio railroad of the good old 
limes. 

" And pray, what sort of a road may that bej" 
says some eastern traveller, who has been accus- 
tomed to connect no ideas with a railroad, but 
those of smoothness or speed. 

Know, then, innocent eastern friend, that in 
benighted regions of the west, where the mud is 
Of unfathomable and sublime depth, roads are 
made of round rough logs, arranged transversely 
side by side, and coated over in their pristine fresh- 
ness with earth, turf, and whatsoever may come to 
hand, and then the rejoicing native calleth it a 
road, and straightway essayeth to ride thereupon. 
In process of time, the rains wash off all the turf 
and grass aforesaid, move the logs hither and 
thither, in picturesque positions, up, down and 
crosswise, with divers chasms and ruts of black 
mud intervening. 

Over such a road as this our senator went 
^tumbling along, making moral reflections as con- 
tinuously as under the circumstances could be ex- 
pected, — the carriage proceeding along much as 
follows, — bump ! bump ! bump ! slush ! down in 
the mud ! — the senator, woman and child, re- 
versing their positions so suddenly as to come, 
without any very accurate adjustment, against 
the windows of the down-hill side. Carriage 
sticks fast, while Cudjoe on the outside is heard 
making a great muster among the horses. After 
various ineffectual pullings and twitchings, just 
'as the senator is losing all patience, the carriage* 
Suddenly rights itself with a bounce, — two front 
wheels go down into another abyss, and senator, 
woman and child, all tumble promiscuously on 
to the front seat, — -senator's hat is jammed over 



his eyes and nose quite unceremoniously, and ho 
considers himself fairly extinguished ; — child 
cries, and Cudjoe on the outside delivers animated 
addresses to the horses, who are kicking, and 
floundering, and straining, under repeated cracks 
of the whip. Carriage springs up, with another 
bounce, — down go the hind wheels, — senator, 
woman and child, flyover on to the back seat, 
his elbows encountering her bonnet, and both her 
feet being jammed into his hat, which flies off 
in the concussion. After a few moments the 
" slough " is passed, and the horses stop, pant- 
ing ; — the senator finds his hat, the woman 
straightens her bonnet and hushes her child, and 
they brace themselves firmly for what is yet to 
come. 

For a while only the continuous bump ! bump ! 
intermingled, just by way of variety, with divers 
side plunges and compound shakes ; and they 
begin to natter themselves that they are not so 
badly off, after all. At last, with a square 
plunge, which puts all on to their feet and then 
down into their seats with incredible quickness, 
the carriage stops, — and, after much outside 
commotion, Cudjoe appears at the door. 

" Please, sir, it 's powerful bad spot, this yer. 
I don't know how we 's to get clar out. I 'm a 
thinkin' we '11 have to be a gettin' rails." 

The senator despairingly steps out, picking 
gingerly for some firm foothold ; down goes one 
foot an immeasurable depth, — he tries to pull it 
up, loses his balance, and tumbles over into the 
mud, and is fished out, in a very despairing con- 
dition, by Cudjoe. 

But we forbear, out of sympathy to our readers' 
bones. Western travellers, who have beguiled 
the midnight hour in the interesting process of 
pulling down rail-fences, to pry their carriages 
out- of mud-holes, will have a respectful and 
mournful sympathy with . our unfortunate hero. 
We beg them to drop a silent tear, and pass on. 

It was full late in the night when the carriage 
emerged, dripping and bespattered, out of the 
creek, and stood at the door of a large farm- 
house. 

It took no inconsiderable perseverance to arouse 
the inmates ; but at last the respectable pro- 
prietor appeared, and undid the door. He was 
a great, tall, bristling Orson of a fellow, full six 
feet and some inches in his stockings, and arrayed 
in a red flannel hunting-shirt. A very heavy mat 
of sandy hair, in a decidedly tousled condition, and 
a beard of some days' growth, gave the worthy 
man an appearance, to say the least, not particu- 
larly prepossessing. He stood for a few minutes 
holding the candle aloft, and blinking on our 
travellers with a dismal and mystified expression 
that was truly ludicrous. It cost some effort of 
our senator to induce him to comprehend the case 
fully ; and while he is doing his best at that, we 
shall give him a little introduction to our readers. 

Honest old John Van Trompe was once quite a 
considerable land-holder and slave-owner in the 
State of Kentucky. Having " nothing of the bear 
about him but the skin," and being gifted by 
nature with a great, honest, just heart, quite 
equal to his gigantic frame, he had been for some 
years witnessing with repressed uneasiness the 
workings of a system equally bad for oppressor 
and oppressed. At last, one day, John's great 
heart had swelled altogether too big to wear his 
bonds any longer ; so he just took his pocket-book 
out of his desk, and went over into Ohio, and 



38 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN I OR, 



bought a quarter of a township of good, rich land, 
made out free papers for all his people, — men, 
WOmfiD and children, — packed them up in wag- 
ons, and sent them off to settle down ; and then 
honest John turned his face up the creek, and 
sat quietly down on a snug, retired farm, to enjoy 
his conscience and his reflections. 

" Are you the man that will shelter a poor 
woman and child from slave-catchers 1" said the 
senator, explicitly. 

" I rather think I am," said honest John, with 
some considerable emphasis. 

" I thought so," said the senator. 

" If there 's anybody comes," said the good 
man, stretchin.g his tall, muscular form upward, 
11 why, here I 'm ready for him : and I 've got 
seven sons, each six foot high, and they'll be 
ready for 'em. Give our respects to 'em," said 
John; "tell 'em it's no matter how soon they 
call, — make no kinder difference to us," said 
John, running his fingers through the shock of 
hair that thatched his head, and bursting out 
into a great laugh. 

Weary, jaded and spiritless, Eliza dragged 
herself up to the door, with her child lying in a 
heavy sleep on her arm. The rough man held 
the candle to her face, and uttering a kind of 
compassionate grunt, opened the door of a small 
bed-room adjoining to the large kitchen where 
they were standing, and motioned her to go in. 
He took down a candle, and lighting it, set it 
upon the table, and then addressed himself to 
Eliza. 

" Now, I say, gal, you need n't be a bit afeared, 
let who will come here. I 'm up to all that sort 
o' thing," said he, pointing to two or three 
goodly rifles over the mantel-piece ; " and most 
people that know me know that 't would n't be 
healthy to try to get anybody out o' my house 
when I 'in agin it. So now you jist go to sleep, 
now, as quiet as if yer mother was a rockin' ye," 
said he, as he shut the door. 

" Why, this is an uncommon handsome un," 
he said to the senator. "Ah, well; handsome 
nns has the greatest cause to run, sometimes, if 
they has any kind o' feelin', such as decent wo- 
men should. I know all about that." 

The senator, in a few words, briefly explained 
Eliza's history. 

"0! ou ! aw! now, I want to know?" said 
the good man, pitifully ; " sho ! now, sho ! That 's 
natur now, poor crittur ! hunted down, now, like a 
deer, — hunted down, jest for havin' natural feel- 
in's, and doin' what no kind o' mother could help 
a doin' ! I tell ye what, these yer things make me 
come the nighest to swearin', now, o' most any- 
thing," said honest John, as he wiped his eyes 
with the back of a great, freckled, yellow hand. 
" I tell yer what, stranger, it was years and 
years before I 'd jine the church, 'cause the min- 
isters round in our parts used to preach that the 
Bible went in for these ere cuttings up, — and I 
could n't be up to 'em with their Greek and 
Hebrew, and so I took up agin 'em, Bible and 
all. I never jined the church till I found a min- 
ister that was up to 'em all in Greek and all 
that, and he said right the contrary ; and then I 
took right hold, and jined the church, — I did 
now, fact," said John, who had been all this 
time uncorking some„very frisky bottled cider, 
which at this juncture he presented. 

" Ye 'd better jest put up here, now, till day- 
light," said he, heartily " and I '11 call up the 



old woman, and have a bed got ready for yon in 
no time." 

"Thank you, my good friend," said the sena- 
tor, " I must be along, to take the night stage for 
Columbus." 

" Ah ! well, then, if you must, I '11 go a piece 
with you, and show you a crow road that will 
take you there better than the road you came on* 
That road 's mighty bad." 

John equipped himself, and, with a lantern in 
hand, was soon seen guiding the senator's car- 
riage towards a road that ran down in a hollow, 
back of his dwelling. When they parted, the 
senator put into his hand a ten-dollar bill. 

" It 's for her," he said, briefly. 

" Ay, ay," said John, with equal conciseness. 

They shook hands, and parted. 



CHAPTER X. 

THE PROPERTY IS CARRIED OFF. 

The February morning looked gray and drizzling 
through the window of Uncle Tom's cabin. It 
looked on downcast faces, the images of mournful 
hearts. The little table stood out before the fire> 
covered with an ironing-cloth ; a coarse but clean 
shirt or two, fresh from the iron, hung on the 
back of a chair by the fire, and Aunt Chloe had 
another spread out before her on the table. Care- 
fully she rubbed and ironed every fold and every 
hem, with the most scrupulous exactness, every 
now and then raising her hand to her face to- 
wipe off the tears that were coursing down hey 
cheeks. 

Tom sat by, with his Testament open on his* 
knee, and his head leaning upon his hand ; — but 
neither spoke. It was yet early, and the children 
lay all asleep together in their little rude trundle- 
bed. 

Tom, who had, to the full, the gentle, domestic 
heart, which, woe for them ! has been a peculiar 
characteristic of his unhappy race, got up and 
walked silently to look at his children. 

" It 's the last time!" he said. 

Aunt Chloe did not answer, only rubbed away 
over and over on the coarse shirt, already as 
smooth as hands could make it ; and finally set- 
ting her iron suddenly down with a despairing 
plunge, she sat down to the table, and " lifted up 
her voice and wept." 

"S'pose we must be resigned ; but 0, Lord . 
how ken I ? If I know'd anything whar you 's 
goin', or how they'd sarve you! Missis says 
she '11 try and 'deem ye, in a year or two ; but 
Lor ! nobody never comes up that goes down 
thar ! They kills 'em ! I 've hearn 'em tell 
how dey works 'em up on dem ar plantations." 

" There '11 be the same God there, Chloe, that 
there is here." 

" Well," said Aunt Chloe, " s'pose dere will ; 
but de Lord lets drefiul things happen sometimes 
I don't seem to get no comfort dat way." 

" I 'm in the Lord's hands," said Tom ; t4 notr> 
in' can go no furdcr than he lets it ; — and thar 's 
one thing I can thank him for. It 's me that 's 
sold and going down, and not you nur the chil'eru. 
Here you 're safe ; — what comes will come only 
on me ;• and the Lord, he '11 help me, — I know 
he will." 

Ah, brave, manly heart, — smothering thine 
own sorrow, to comfort thy beloved ones ! Tom 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



39 



spoke with a thick utterance, and with a bitter 
choking in his throat, — but he spoke brave and 
strong. 

"Let's think on our marcies !" he added, 
tremulously, as if he was quite sure he needed^ to 
think on them very hard indeed. 

" Marcies !" said Aunt Chloe ; " don't see no 
marcy in 't ! 'tan't right ! tan't right it should 
be so ! Mas'r never ought ter left it so that ye 
could be took for his debts. Ye 've arnt him all 
he gets for ye, twice over. He owed ye yer free- 
dom, and ought ter gin 't to yer years ago. Mebbe 
he can't help himself now, but I feel it 's wrong. 
Nothing can't beat that ar out o' me. Sich a 
faithful crittur as ye 've been, — and allers sot 
his business 'fore yer own every way, — and 
reckoned on him more than yer own wife and 
chil'en ! Them 1 as sells heart's love and heart's 
blood, to get out thar scrapes, de Lord '11 be up 
to 'em!" 

" Chloe I now, if ye love me, ye won't talk so, 
when perhaps jest the last time we '11 ever have 
together ! And I '11 tell ye, Chloe, it goes agin 
me to hear one word agin Mas'r. Wan't he put 
in my arms a baby 1 — it 's natur I should think 
a heap of him. And he couldn't be spected to 
think so much of poor Tom. Mas'rs is used to 
havin' all these yer things done for 'em, and 
aat'lly they don't think so much on 't. They 
can't be spected to, no way. Set him 'longside 
of other Mas'rs — who 's had the treatment and 
the livin' I 've had 1 And he never would have 
let this yer come on me, if he could have seed it 
aforehand. I know he would n't." 

" Wal, any way, thar 's wrong about it some- 
crA«r," said Aunt Chloe, in whom a stubborn 
sense of justice was a predominant trait ; "I 
can't jest make out whar 't is, but thar 's wrong 
somewhar, I 'm clar o' that." 

' ' Yer ought to look up to the Lord above — 
he 's above all — thar don't a sparrow fall with- 
out him." 

" It don't seem to comfort me, but I spect it 
orter," said Aunt Chloe. "But dar 's no use 
fcalkin' ; I '11 jes wet up de corn-cake, and get ye 
one good breakfast, 'cause nobody knows when 
you '11 get another." 

In order to appreciate the sufferings of the 
negroes sold south, it must be remembered that 
all the instinctive affections of that race are pecu- 
liarly strong. Their local attachments' are very 
abiding. They are not naturally daring and 
enterprising, but home-loving and affectionate. 
Add to this all the terrors with which ignorance 
invests the unknown, and add to this, again, that 
selling to the south is set before the negro from 
childhood as the last severity of punishment. 
The threat that terrifies more than whipping or 
torture of any kind is the threat of being sent 
down river. We have ourselves heard this feel- 
ing expressed by them, and seen the unaffected 
horror with which they will sit in their gossip- 
ing hours, and tell frightful stories of that 
'** down river," which to them is 

'* That undiscovered, country, from whose bourn 
No traveller returns." 

A missionary among the fugitives in Canada 
told us that many of the fugitives confessed them- 
selves to have escaped from comparatively kind 
masters, and that they were induced to brave the 
perils of escape, in almost every case, by the des- 
perate horror with which they regarded being 



sold south, — a doom which was hanging either 
over themselves or their husbands, their wives or 
children. This nerves the African, naturally pa- 
tient, timid and unenterprising, with heroic cour- 
age, and leads him to suffer hunger, cold, pain, 
the perils of the wilderness, and the more dread 
penalties oLre-capture. 

The simple morning meal now smoked on the 
table, for Mrs. Shelby had excused Aunt Chloe's 
attendance at the great house that morning. The 
poor soul had expended all her little energies on 
this farewell feast, — had killed and dressed her 
choicest chicken, and prepared her corn-cake with 
scrupulous exactness, just to her husband's taste, 
and brought out certain mysterious jars on the 
mantel-piece, some preserves that were never pro- 
duced except on extreme occasions. 

" Lor, Pete," said Mose, triumphantly, "han't 
we got a buster of a breakfast ! " at the same 
time catching at a fragment of the chicken. 

Aunt Chloe gave him a sudden box on the ear. 
"Thar, now! crowing over the last breakfast 
your poor daddy 's gwine to have to home !" 

" 0, Chloe !" said Tom, gently. 

" Wal, I can't help it," said Aunt Chloe, 
hiding her face in her apron; " I 's so tossed 
about, it makes me act ugly." 

The boys stood quite still, looking first at their 
father and then at their mother, while the baby, 
climbing up her clothes, began an imperious, 
commanding cry. 

"Thar!" said Aunt Chloe, wiping her eyes 
and taking up the baby ; " now I 's done, I hope, 
— now do eat something. This yer 's my nicest 
chicken. Thar, boys, ye shall have some, poor 
critturs ! Yer mammy 's been cross to yer." 

The boys needed no second invitation, and went 
in with great zeal for the eatables ; and it was 
well they did so, as otherwise there would have 
been very little performed to any purpose by the 
party. 

" Now," said Aunt Chloe, bustling about after 
breakfast, " I must put up yer clothes. Jest 
like as not, he '11 take 'em all away. I know thar 
ways. — mean as dirt, they is ! Wal, now, }^er 
flannels for rhumatis is in this corner ; so be 
car'ful, 'cause there won't nobody make ye no 
more. Then here 's yer old shirts, and these 
yer is new ones. I toed off these yer stockings 
last night, and put de ball in em to mend with. 
But Lor! who '11 ever mend for ye!" and Aunt 
Chloe, again overcome, laid her head on the box 
side, and sobbed. " To think on 't ! no crittur 
to do for ye, sick or well ? I don't railly think I 
ought ter be good now ! ' ' 

The boys, having eaten everything there was 
on the breakfast-table, began now to take some 
thought of the case ; and, seeing their mother cry- 
ing, and their father looking very sad, began to 
whimper and put their hands to their eyes. Uncle 
Tom had the baby on his knee, and was letting her 
enjoy herself to the utmost extent, scratching his 
face and pulling his hair, and occasionally break- 
ing out into clamorous explosions of delight, evi- 
dently arising out of her own internal reflections. 

"Ay, crow away, poor crittur!" said Aunt 
Chloe ; "ye '11 have to come to it, too ! ye '11 live 
to see yer husband sold, or mebbe be sold yerself ; 
and these yer boys, they 's to be sold, I s'pose, 
too, jest like as not, when they gets good for 
somethin' ; an't no use in niggers havin nothin'!" 

Here one of the boys called out, " Thar 's Mis- 
sis a-comin in !" 



40 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN I OR, 



" She ran't do no good ; what 's she coming 
for!" said Aunt Chloe. 

Mrs. Shelby entered. Aunt Chloe set a chair 
for her in a manner decidedly gruff and crusty 
She did not seem to notice either the action or trie 
manner. She looked pale and anxious. 

" Tom," she said, " I come to — " and stopping 
suddenly, and regarding the silent group, she sat 
down in the chair, and, covering her face with 
her handkerchief, began to sob. 

"Lor, now, Missis, don't — don't!" said 
Aunt Chloe, bursting out in her turn ; and for a 
few moments they all wept in company. And in 
those tears they all shed together, the high and 
the lowly, melted away all the heart-burnings 
and anger of the oppressed. 0, ye who visit the 
distressed, do ye know that everything your 
money can buy, given with a cold, averted face, 
is not worth one honest tear shed in real sym- 
pathy ? 

" My good fellow," said Mrs. Shelby, " I can't 
give you anything to do you any good. If I give 
you money, it will only be taken from you. 
But I tell you solemnly, and before God, that I 
will keep trace of you, and bring you back as 
soon as I can command the money ; — and, till 
then, trust in God !" 

Here the boys called out that Mas'r Haley was 
coming, and then an unceremonious kick pushed 
open the door. Haley stood there in very ill 
humor, having ridden hard the night before, and 
being not at all pacified by his ill success in re- 
capturing his prey. 

"Come," said he, "ye nigger, ye 'r ready? 
Servant, ma'am !" said he, taking off his hat, as 
he saw Mrs. Shelby. 

Aunt Chloe shut and corded the box, and, get- 
ting up, looked gruffly on the trader, her tears 
seeming suddenly turned to sparks of fire. 

Tom rose up meekly, to follow his new master, 
and raised up his heavy box on his shoulder. 
His wife took the baby in her arms to go with 
him to the wagon, and the children, still crying, 
trailed on behind. 

Mrs. Shelby, walking up to the trader, detained 
him for a few moments, talking with him in an 
earnest manner ; and while she was thus talking, 
the whole family party proceeded to a wagon, that 
stood ready harnessed at the door. A crowd of all 
the old and young hands on the place stood gath- 
ered around it, to bid farewell to their old associate. 
Tom had been looked up to, both as a head ser- 
vant and a Christian teacher, by all the place, 
and there was much honest sympathy and grief 
about him, particularly among the women. 

"Why, Chloe, you bar it better 'n we do!" 
said one of the women, who had been weeping 
freely, noticing the gloomy calmness with which 
Aunt Chloe stood by the wagon. 

" I 's done my tears !" she said, looking grimly 
at the trader, who was coming up. "I does not 
feel to cry 'fore dat ar old limb, no how !" 

" Get in !" said Haley to Tom, as he strode 
through the crowd of servants, who looked at him 
with lowering brows. 

Tom got in, and Haley, drawing out from under 
the wagon-seat a heavy pair of shackles, made 
them fast around each ankle. 

A smothered groan of indignation ran through 
the whole circle, and Mrs. Shelby spoke from the 
veranda, — 

"Mr. Haley, I assure you that precaution is 
entirely unnecessary." 



" Do'n know, ma'am ; I 're lost cine five hun- 
dred dollars from this yer place, and I can't 
afford to run no more rixks." 

"What else could she spect on him?" said 
A'mt Chloe, indignantly, while the two boys, 
who now seemed to comprehend at once their 
father b destiny, clung to her gown, sobbing and 
groaning vehemently. 

" I 'm sorry," said Tom, " that Mas'r George 
happened to be away." 

George had gone to spend two or three days 
with a companion on a neighboring estate, and 
having departed early in the morning, before 
Tom's misfortune had been made public, had left 
without hearing of it. 

" Give my love to Mas'r George," he said, 
earnestly. 

Haley whipped up the horse, and, with a 
steady, mournful look, fixed to the last on the old 
place, Tom was whirled away. 

Mr. Shelby at this time was not at home. lie 
had sold Tom under the spur of a driving neces- 
sity, to get out of the power of a man whom he 
dreaded, — and his first feeling, after the con-' 
summation of the bargain, had been that of 
relief. But his wife's expostulations awoke I113 
half-slumbering regrets ; and Tom's manly dis- 
interestedness increased the unpleasantness of 
his feelings. It was in vain that he said to him- 
self that he had a right to do it, — that every- 
body did it, — and that some did it without even 
the excuse of necessity ; — he could not satisfy 
his own feelings ; and that he might not witness 
the unpleasant scenes of the consummation, he 
had gone on a short business tour up the country, 
hoping that all would be over before he returned. 

Tom and Haley rattled on along the dusty road, 
whirling past every old familiar spot, until the 
bounds of the estate were fairly passed, and they 
found themselves out on the open pike. After 
they had ridden about a mile, Haley suddenly 
drew up at the door of a blacksmith's shop, when, 
taking out with him a pair of handcuffs, he 
stepped into the shop, to have a little alteration 
in them. 

" These yer 's a little too small for his build," 
said Haley, showing the fetters, and pointing 
out to Tom. 

" Lor ! now, if thar an't Shelby's Tom. He 
han't sold him, now?" said the smith. 

" Yes, he has," said Haley. 

" Now, ye don't ! well, reely," said the smith, 
"who'd a thought it ! Why, ye needn't go to 
fetterin' him up this yer way. He 's the faith* 
fulest, best crittur — " 

" Yes, yes," said Haley ; " but your good fel- 
lers are just the eritturs to want ter run offl 
Them stupid ones, as does n't care whai they go, 
and shitless, drunken ones, as don't care for 
nothin', they'll stick by, and- like as not be 
rather pleased to be toted round ; but these yer 
prime fellers, they hates it like sin. No way 
but to fetter 'em ; got legs, — they 'II use*' em, — 
no mistake." 

"Well," said the smith, feeling among his 
tools, " them plantations down thar, stranger, 
an't jest the place a Kentuck nigger w r ants to go 
to ; they dies thar tol'able fast, don't they ?" 

" Wal, yes, tol'able fast, ther dying is ; what 

with the 'climating and one thing and another, 

they dies so as to keep the market up pretty 

brisk," said Haley. 

. " Wal, now, a feller can't help thinkin' it 's a 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



41 



i' ye ! It does me real good, ye can't tell !" 
Toui made some movement of his feet, and 



mighty pity to have a nice, quiet, likely feller, as 
good un as Tom is, go down to be fairly ground 
, up on one of them ar sugar plantations." 

" Wal, he 's got a fa'r chance. I promised to 
do well by him. I '11 get him in house-servant 
in some good old family, and then, if he stands 
the feVv v r and 'climating, he '11 have a berth good 
as any nigger ought ter ask for." 

" He leaves his wife and chil'en up here, 
s*pose?" 

"Yes; but he'll get another thar. Lord, 
thar 's women enough every whar," said Haley. 

Tom was sitting very mournfully on the out- 
side of the shop while this conversation was 
going on. Suddenly he heard the quick, short 
click of a horse's hoof behind him ; and, before 
he could fairly awake from his surprise, young 
Master George sprang into the wagon, threw his 
arms tumultuously round his neck, and was sob- 
bing and scolding with energy. 

" I declare, it 's real mean ! I don't care 
what they say, any of 'em ! It 's a nasty, mean 
shame ! If I was a man, they should n't do it, — 
they should not, so!" said George, with a kind 
of subdued howl. 

"0! Mas'r George! this does me good!" 
said Tom. "I couldn't bar to go off without 
seem" 
Here 
George's eye fell on the fetters 

"What a shame!" he exclaimed, lifting his 
hands. "I'll knock that old fellow down — I 
will!" 

"No you won't, Mas'r George ; and you must 
not talk so loud. It won't help me any, to anger 
liim." 

" Well, I won't, then, for your sake ; but only 
to think of it — isn't it a shame? They never 
sent for me, nor sent me any word, and, if it 
hadn't been for Tom Lincon, I shouldn't have 
heard it. I tell you, I blew 'em up well, all of 
'em, at home !" 

"That ar wasn't right, I'm 'feard, Mas'r 
George." 

" Can't help it ! I say it 's a shame ! Look 
here, Uncle Tom," said he, turning his back to 
the shop, and speaking in a mysterious tone, 
" I 've brought you my dollar ! " 

" ! I couldn't think o' takin' on 't, Mas'r 
George, no ways in the world !" said Tom, quite 
moved. 

" But you shall take it !" said George ; " look 
here — I told Aunt Chloe I 'd do it, and she 
advised me just to make a hole in it, and put a 
string through, so you could hang it round your 
neck, and keep it out of sight ; else this mean 
scamp would take it away. I tell ye, Tom, I 
want to blow him up ! it would do me good ! ' ' 

" No, don't, Mas'r George, for it won't do me 
any good." 

" Well, I won't, for your sake," said George, 
busily tying his dollar round Tom's neck ; " but 
there, uoav, button your coat tight over it, and 
keep it, and remember, every time you see it, that 
I '11 come down after you, and bring you back. 
Aunt Chloe and I have been talking about it. I 
told her not to fear ; I '11 see to it, and I '11 tease 
father's life out, if he don't do it." 

" ! Mas'r George, ye mustn't talk so "bout 
yer father ! " 

" Lor, Uncle Tom, I don't mean anything 
bad." 

"And now, Mas'r George," said Tom, "ye 



must be a good boy ; 'member how many hearts 
is sot on ye. Al'ays keep close to yer mother. 
Don't be gettin' into any of them foolish ways 
boys has of gettin' too big to mind their mothers. 
Tell ye what, Mas'r George, the Lord gives good 
many things twice over ; but he don't give ye a 
mother but once. Ye '11 never see sich another 
woman, Mas'r George, if ye live to be a hundred 
years old. So, now , you hold on to her, and grow 
up, and be a comfort to her, thar 's my own good 
boy, — you will now, won't ye?" 

" Yes, I will, Uncle Tom," said George, seri- 
ously. 

" And be careful of yer speaking, Mas'r George. 
Young boys, when they comes to your age, is Avil- 
ful, sometimes — it 's natur they should be. But 
real gentlemen, such as I hopes you '11 be, never 
lets fall no words that is n't 'spectful to thar pa- 
rents. Ye an't 'fended, Mas'r George ? " 

"No, indeed, Uncle Tom ; you always did give 
me good advice." 

" I 's older, ye know," said Tom, stroking the 
boy's fine, curly head with his large, strong hand, 
but speaking in a voice as tender as a woman's, 
"and I sees all that's bound up in you. 0, 
Mas'r George, you has everything, — l'arnin', 
privileges, readin', writin', — and you '11 grow up 
to be a great, l'arned, good man, and all the 
people on the place and your father and mother '11 
be so proud on ye ! Be a good Mas'r, like yer 
father ; and be a Christian, like yer mother. 
'Member yer Creator in the days o' yer youth, 
Mas'r George." 

"I'll be real good, Uncle Tom, I tell you," 
said George. "I'm going to be a first-rater; 
and don't you be discouraged. I '11 have you 
back to the place, yet. As I told Aunt Chloe this 
morning, I '11 build your house all over, and you 
shall have a room for a parlor with a carpet on 
it, when I 'm a man. 0, you '11 have good times 
yet!" 

Haley now came to the door, with the hand- 
cuffs in his hands. 

" Look here, now, Mister," said George, with 
an air of great superiority, as he got out, " I 
shall let father and mother know how you treat 
Uncle Tom!" 

" You 're welcome," said the trader. 

" I should think you 'd be ashamed to spend 
all your life buying men and women, and chain- 
ing them, like cattle ! I should think you 'd feel 
mean!" said George. 

" So long as your grand folios wants to buy men 
and women, I'm as ,good as they is," said Ha- 
ley; " 'tan't any meaner sellin' on 'em, than 
'tis buyin' !" 

" I '11 never do either, when I 'm a man," said 
George; "I'm ashamed, this day, that I'm a 
Kentuckian. I always was proud of it before ;" 
and George sat very straight on his horse, and 
looked round with an air, as if he expected the 
state would be impressed with his opinion. 

" Well, good-by, Uncle Tom ; keep a stiff up- 
per lip," said George. 

" Good-by, Mas'r George," said Tom, looking 
fondly and admiringly at him. " God Almighty 
bless you ! Ah ! Kentucky han't got many like 
you!" he said, in the fulness of his heart, as the 
frank, boyish face was lost to his view. Away 
he went, and Tom looked, till the clatter of his 
horse's heels died away, the last sound or sight 
of his home. But over his heart there seemed to 
be a warm spot, where those young hands had 



42 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR, 



placed that precious dollar. Tom put up his 
hand, and held it close to his heart. 

"Now, I tell ye what, Tom," .said Haley, as 
he came up to the wagon, and threw in the hand- 
cull's, " I mean to start fa'r with ye, as I gen'ally 
do with my niggers ; and I '11 tell ye now, to be- 
gin with, you treat me fa'r, and I '11 treat you 
fa'r; I an't never hard on my niggers. Calcu- 
lates to do the best for 'em I can. Now, ye see, 
you 'd better jest settle down comfortable, and 
not be tryin' no tricks ; because nigger's tricks 
of all sorts I 'm up to, and it 's no use. If nig- 
gers is quiet, and don't try to get off, they has 
good times with me ; and if they don't, why, it 's 
thar fault, and not mine." 

Tom assured Haley that he had no present in- 
tentions of running off. In fact, the exhortation 
seemed rather a superfluous one to a man with a 
threat pair of iron fetters on his feet. But Mr. 
Haley had got in the habit of commencing his 
relations with his stock with little exhortations 
of this nature, calculated, as he deemed, to in- 
spire cheerfulness and confidence, and prevent the 
necessity of any unpleasant scenes. 

And here, for the present, we take our leave 
of Tom, to pursue the fortunes of other charac- 
ters in our story. 



CHAPTER XI. 

IN WHICH PROPERTY GETS INTO AN IMPROPER STATE 
OF MIND. 

It was late in a drizzly afternoon that a travel- 
ler alighted at the door of a small country hotel, 

in the village of N , in Kentucky. In the 

bar-room he found assembled quite a miscellane- 
ous company, whom stress of weather had driven 
to harbor, and the place presented the usual 
scenery of such reunions. Great, tall, raw- 
boned Kentuckians, attired in hunting-shirts, and 
trailing their loose joints over a vast extent of 
territory, with the easy lounge peculiar to the 
race, — rifles stacked away in the corner, shot- 
pouches, game-bags, hunting-dogs, and little ne- 
groes, all rolled together in the corners, — were 
the characteristic features in the picture. At 
each end of the fireplace sat a long-legged gen- 
tleman, with his chair tipped back, his hat on 
his head, and the heels of his muddy boots re- 
posing sublimely on the mantel-piece, — a posi- 
tion, we will inform our readers, decidedly 
favorable to the turn of ^ reflection incident to 
western taverns, where travellers exhibit a decided 
preference for this particular mode of elevating 
their understandings. 

Mine host, who stood behind the bar, like most 
of his countrymen, was great of stature, good- 
natured, and loose-jointed, with an enormous 
shock of hair on his head, and a great tall hat on 
the top of that. 

In fact, everybody in the room bore on his head 
this characteristic emblem of man's sovereignty ; 
whether it were felt hat, palm-leaf, greasy beaver, 
or fine new chapeau, there it reposed with true 
republican independence. In truth, it appeared 
to be the characteristic mark of every individual. 
Some wore them tipped rakishly to one side — 
these were your men of humor, jolly, free-and- 
easy dogs ; some had them jammed independently 
down over their noses — these were your hard 
characters, thorough men, who, when they wore 



their hats, wanted to wear them, and to wear 
tlniii just as they had a mind to; there w^ro 
those who had them set far over back — wide- 
awake men, who wanted a clear prospect ; while 
careless men, who did not know, or care, how 
their hats sat, had them shaking about in all di- 
rections. The various hats, in fact, were quite a 
Shakspearean study. 

Divers negroes, in very free-and-easy panta- 
loons, and with no redundancy in the sh'rt line, 
were scuttling about, hither and thither, without 
bringing to pass any very particular results, ex- 
cept expressing a generic willingness to turn over 
everything in creation generally for the benefit of 
Mas'r and his guests. Add to this picture a 
jolly, crackling, rollicking fire, going rejoicingly 
up a great wide chimney, — the outer door and 
every window being set wide open, and the calico 
window-curtain flopping and snapping in a good 
stiff breeze of damp raw air, — and you have an 
idea of the jollities of a Kentucky tavern. 

Your Kentuckian of the present day is a good 
illustration of the doctrine of transmitted in- 
stincts and peculiarities. His fathers were mighty 
hunters, — men who lived in the woods, and slept 
under the free, open heavens, with the stars to 
hold their candles ; and their descendant to this 
day always acts as if the house were his camp, 
wears his hat at all hours, tumbles himself about, 
and puts his heels on the tops of chairs or man- 
tel-pieces, just as his father rolled on the green 
sward, and put his upon trees and logs, — keeps 
all the windows and doors open, winter and sum- 
mer, that he may get air enough for his great 
lungs, — calls everybody " stranger," with nortr 
chalant bonhommie, and is altogether the frank-' 
est, easiest, most jovial creature living. 

Into such an assembly of the free-and-easy our 
traveller entered. He was a short, thick-set man, 
carefully dressed, with a round, good-natured 
countenance, and something rather fussy and par- 
ticular in his appearance. He was very careful 
of his valise and umbrella, bringing them in with 
his own hands, and resisting, pertinaciously, all 
offers from the various servants to relieve him of 
them. He looked round the bar-room with'rather 
an anxious air, and, retreating with his valuables 
to the warmest corner, disposed them under his 
chair, sat down, and looked rather apprehensively 
up at the worthy whose heels illustrated the end 
of the mantel-piece, who was spitting from right 
to left, with a courage and energy rather alarm- 
ing to gentlemen of weak nerves and particular 
habits. 

" I say, stranger, how are ye?" said the afore- 
said gentleman, firing an honorary salute of to- 
bacco-juice in the .direction of the new arrival. 

" Well, I reckon," was the reply of the other, 
as he dodged, with some alarm, the threatening 
honor. 

" Any news ?" said the respondent, taking out 
a strip of tobacco and a large hunting-knife from 
his pocket. 

" Not that I know of," said the man. 

"Chaw?" said the first speaker, handing tho 
old gentleman a bit of his tobacco, with a decid- 
edly brotherly air. 

" No, thank ye — it don't agree with me," said 
the little man, edging off. 

" Don't, eh?" said the other, easily, and sto\\»- 
ing away the morsel in his own mouth, in order 
to keep up the supply of tobacco-juice, for the 
general benefit of society. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



43 



The old gentleman uniformly gave a little start 
Whenever his long-sided brother fired in his direc- 
tion ; and this being observed by his companion, 
he very good-naturedly turned his artillery to an- 
other quarter, and proceeded to storm one of the 
fire-irons with a degree of military talent fully 
sufficient to take a city. 

"What's that?" said the old gentleman, ob- 
serving some of the company formed in a group 
around a large handbill. 

" Nigger advertised!" said one of the compa- 
ny, briefly. 

Mr. Wilson, for that was the old gentleman's 
name, rose up, and, after carefully adjusting his 
valise and umbrella, proceeded deliberately to take 
out his spectacles and fix them on his nose ; and, 
this operation being performed, read as follows : 

"Ran away from the subscriber, my mulatto boy, 
George. Said George six feet in height, a very light 
mulatto, brown curly hair; is very intelligent, speaks 
handsomely, can read and write; will probably try to 
pass for a white man; is deeply scarred on his back and 
Shoulders ; has been branded in his right hand with the 
letter H. 

'* I will give four hundred dollars for him alive, and the 
same sum for satisfactory proof that he has been killed." 

The old gentleman read this advertisement 
from end to end, in a low voice, as if he were 
Studying it. 

The long-legged veteran, who had been besieg- 
ing the fire-iron, as before related, now took down 
his cumbrous length, and rearing aloft his tall form, 
walked up to the advertisement, and very delib- 
erately spit a full discharge of tobacco-juice on it. 

" There 's my mind upon that !" said he, brief- 
ly, and sat down again. 

" Why, now, stranger, what 's that for?" said 
mine host. 

" I 'd do it all the same to the writer of that ar 
paper, if he was here," said the long man, coolly 
resuming his old employment of cutting tobacco. 
" Any man that owns a boy like that, and can't 
find any better way o' treating on him, deserves to 
lose him. Such papers as these is a shame to 
Kentucky ; that 's my mind right out, if anybody 
wants to know !" 

"Well, now, that's a fact," said mine host, 
as he made an entry in his book. 

" I 've got a gang of boys, sir," said the long 
man, resuming his attack on the fire-irons, " and 
I jest tells 'em — ' Boys,' says I, — ' run, now ! 
dig ! put ! jest when ye want to ! I never shall 
come to look after you !' That 's the way I keep 
mine. Let 'em know they are free to run any 
time, and it jest breaks up their wanting to. 
More 'n all, I 've got free papers for 'em all re- 
corded, in case I gets keeled up any o' these 
times, and they knows it ; and I tell ye, stranger, 
there an't a fellow in our parts gets more out of 
his niggers than I do. Why, my boys have been 
to Cincinnati, with five hundred dollars' worth of 
colts, and brought me back the money, all straight, 
time and agin. It stands to reason they should. 
Treat 'em like dogs, and you '11 have dogs' works 
and dogs' actions. Treat 'em like men, and 
you'll have men's works." And the honest 
drover, in his warmth, endorsed this moral senti- 
ment by firing a perfect feu de joie at the fire- 
place. 

" I think you 're altogether right, friend," said 
Mr. Wilson ; "and this boy described here is a 
fine fellow — no mistake about that. He worked 



for me some half-dozen years in my bagging fac- 
tory, and he was my best hand, sir. He is an 
ingenious fellow, too : he invented a machine for 
the cleaning of hemp — a really valuable affair ; 
it 's gone into use in several factories. His mas- 
ter holds the patent of it." 

" I '11 warrant ye," said the drover, " holds it 
and makes money out of it, and then turns round 
and brands the boy in his right hand. If I had a 
fair chance, I 'd mark him, I reckon, so that he 'd 
carry it one while." 

" These yer knowin' boys is allers aggravatin' 
and sarcy," said a coarse-looking fellow, from the 
other side of the room ; " that 's why they gets 
cut up and marked so. If they behaved them- 
selves, they wouldn't." 

" That is to say, the Lord made 'em men, and 
it 's a hard squeeze getting 'em down into beasts," 
said the drover, dryly. 

"Bright niggers isn't no kind of 'vantage to 
their masters," continued the other, well in- 
trenched, in a coarse, unconscious obtuseness, 
from the contempt of his opponent ; " what 's 
the use o' talents and them things, if you can't 
get the use on 'em yourself? Why, all the use 
they make on 't is to get round you. I 've had 
one or two of these fellers, and I jest eold 'em 
down river. I knew I d got to lose 'em, first or 
last, if I didn't." 

" Better send orders up to the Lord, to make 
you a set, and leave out their souls entirely," 
said the drover. 

Here the conversation was interrupted by the 
approach of a small one-horse buggy to the inn. 
It had a genteel appearance, and a well-dressed, 
gentlemanly man sat on the seat, with a colored 
servant driving. 

The whole party examined the new comer with 
the interest with which a set of loafers in a rainy 
day usually examine every new comer. He was 
very tall, with a dark, Spanish complexion, fine, 
expressive black eyes, and close-curling hair, also 
of a glossy blackness. His well-formed aquiline 
nose, straight thin lips, and the admirable con- 
tour of his finely-formed limbs, impressed the 
whole company instantly with the idea of some- 
thing uncommon. He walked easily in among 
the company, and with a nod indicated to his 
waiter where to place his trunk, bowed to the 
company, and, with his hat in his hand, walked 
up -leisurely to the bar, and gave in his name as 
Henry Butler, Oaklands, Shelby County. Turn- 
ing, with an indifferent air, he sauntered up to 
the advertisement, and read it over. 

" Jim," he said to his man, " seems to me we 
met a boy something like this, up at Bernan's, 
didn't we?" 

"Yes, Mas'r," said Jim, "only I an't sure 
about the hand." 

"Well T didn't look, of course," said the 
stranger, with a careless yawn. Then, walking 
up to the landlord, he desired him to furnish him 
with a private apartment, as he had scane writing 
to do immediately. 

The landlord was all obsequious, and a relay 
of about seven negroes, old and young, male and 
female, little and big, were soon whizzing about, 
like a covey of partridges, bustling, hurrying, 
treading on each other's toes, and tumbling over 
each other, in their zeal to get MasVs room 
ready, while he seated himself easily on a chair 
in the middle of the room, and entered into con- 
versation with the man who sat next to him. 



u 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR, 



The manufacturer, Mr. Wilson, from the time 
of the entrance of the stranger, had regarded him 
with an air of disturbed and uneasy curiosity. 
lie seemed to himself to have met and been ac- 
quainted with him somewhere, but he could not 
recollect. Every few moments, when the man 
spoke, or moved, or smiled, he would start and 
fix his eyes on him, and then suddenly withdraw 
them, as the bright, dark eyes met his with such 
unconcerned coolness. At last, a sudden recol- 
lection seemed to flash upon him, for he stared at 
the stranger with such an air of blank amaze- 
ment and alarm, that he walked up to him. 

"Mr. Wilson, I think," said he, in a tone of 
recognition and extending his hand. " I beg 
your pardon, I didn't recollect you before. I 
see you remember me, — Mr. Butler, of Oaklands, 
Shelby County." 

"Ye — yes — yes, sir," said Mr. Wilson, like 
one speaking in a dream. 

Just then a negro boy entered, and announced 
that Mas'r's room was ready. 

"Jim, see to the trunks," said the gentleman, 
negligently ; then addressing himself to Mr. 
Wilson, he added — " I should like to have a few 
moments' conversation with you on business, in 
my room, if you please." 

Mr. Wilson followed him, as one who walks in 
his sleep ; and they proceeded to a large upper 
chamber, where a new-made fire was crackling, 
and various servants flying about, putting finish- 
ing touches to the arrangements. 

When all was done, and the servants departed, 
the young man deliberately locked the door, and 
putting the key in his pocket, faced about, and 
Folding his arms on his bosom, looked Mr. Wilson 
full in the face. 

" George !" said Mr. Wilson. 

" Yes, George," said the young man. 

" I couldn't have thought it !" 

"I am pretty well disguised, I fancy," said 
the young man, with a smile. " A little walnut 
bark has made my yellow skin a genteel brown, 
and I 've dyed my hair black ; so you see I don't 
answer to the advertisement at all." 

"0, George ! but this is a dangerous game you 
•re playing. I could not have advised you to 
it." 

" I can do it on my own responsibility," said 
George, with the same proud smile. 

We remark, en passant, that George was, by 
Ids father's side, of white descent. His mother 
was one of those unfortunates of her race, marked 
out by personal beauty to be the slave of the pas- 
sions of her possessor, and the mother of children 
who may never know a father. From one of the 
proudest families in Kentucky he had inherited a 
set of fine European features, and a high, indomi- 
table spirit. From his mother he had received 
only a slight mulatto tinge, amply compensated 
by its accompanying rich, dark eye. A slight 
change in the tint of the skin and the color of 
his hair had metamorphosed him into the Spanish- 
looking fellow he then appeared ; and as graceful- 
ness of movement and gentlemanly manners had 
always been perfectly natural to him, he found 
no difficulty in playing the bold part he had 
adopted — that of a gentleman travelling with 
his domestic. 

Mr. Wilson, a good-natured but extremely 
fidgety and cautious old gentleman, ambled up 
and down the room, appearing, as John Bunyan 
hath it, "much tumbled up and down in his 



mind," and divided between his wish to help 
George, and a certain confused notion of main- 
taining law and order ; mo, as he shambled about, 
he delivered himself as follows: 

" Well, George, I s'pose you 're running away 
— leaving your lawful master, George — (T don't 
wonder at it) — at the same tine;, I'm sorry, 
George, — yes, decidedly — 1 think I must say 
that, George — it ; s my duty to tell you so." 

" Why are you sorry, sir?" said GeorgQ, 
calmly. 

" Why, to see you, as it were, setting yourself 
in opposition to ihe laws of your country." 

u My country !" said George, with a strong and 
bitter emphasis ; " what country have I, but the 
grave ? — and I wish to God that I was laid 
there!" 

"Why, George, no — no — it won't do; this 
way of talking is wicked — unscriptural. George, 
you 've got a hard master — in fact, he is- — well, 
he conducts himself reprehensibly — T can't pre*- 
tend to defend him. But you know how the 
angel commanded Hagar to return to her misr 
tress, and submit herself under her hand ; and tbB 
apostle sent back Onesimus to his master." 

" Don't quote Bible at me that way, Mr. Wil- 
son," said George, with a flashing eye, "don't! 
for my wife is a Christian, and I mean to be, if 
ever I get to where I can ; but to quote Bible to 
a fellow in my circumstances, is enough to make 
him give it up altogether. I appeal to God 
Almighty ; — I 'm willing to go with the case tD 
Him, and ask Him if I do wrong to seek my free- 
dom. " 

"These feelings are quite natural, George, ** 
said the good-natured man, blowing his nose*. 
"Yes, they're natural, but it is my duty not tt> 
encourage 'em in you. Yes, my boy, I 'in sorry 
for you, now; it 's a bad case — very bad; but 
the apostle says, ' Let every one abide in the cor*- 
dition in which he is called.' We must all sub- 
mit to the indications of Providence, George, — 
don't you see?" 

George stood with his head drawn back, his 
arms folded tightly over his broad breast, and a 
bitter smile curling his lips. 

" I wonder, Mr. Wilson, if the Indians should 
come and take you a prisoner away from your 
wife and children, and want to keep you all you* 
life hoeing corn for them, if you 'd think il 
your duty to abide in the condition in which yon 
were called. I rather think that you 'd think the 
first stray horse you could find an indication of 
Providence — should n't you ? " 

The little old gentleman stared with both eyea, 
at this illustration of the case ; but, though noi 
much of a reasoner, he had the sense in which 
some logicians on this particular subject do not 
excel, — that of saying nothing, where nothing 
could be said. So, as he stood carefully stroking 
his umbrella, and folding and patting down all 
the creases in it, he proceeded on with his exhort- 
ations in a general way. 

"You see, George, you know, now, I always 
have stood your friend ; and whatever I 've said, 
I 've said for your good. Now, here, it seems t£> 
me, you 're running an awful risk. You can't 
hope to carry it out. If you 're taken, it will bg 
w r orse with you than ever ; they '11 only abuse 
you, and half kill you, and sell you down river." 
"Mr. Wilson, I know all this," said GeorgQ. 
" I do run a risk, but — " he threw open h;s 
overcoat, and showed two pistols and a bowie- 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



45 



knife. " There !" he said, " I 'm ready for 'em ! 
Down south I never will go. No ! if it comes to 
that, I can earn myself at least six feet of free 
gtril, — the first and last I shall ever own in Ken- 
tucky!" 

" Why, George, this state of mind is awful ; 
& 's getting really desperate, George. I 'm con- 
cerned. Going to break the laws of your coun- 
try!" 

" My country again ! Mr. Wilson, you have a 
country ; but what country have I, or any one 
like me, born of slave mothers? What laws are 
there for us? We don't make them, — we don't 
consent to them, — we have nothing to do with 
them ; all they do for us is to crush us, and keep 
us down. Haven't I heard your Fourth-of-July 
speeches? Don't you tell us all, once a year, 
that governments derive their just power from the 
consent of the governed? Can't a fellow think, 
that hears such things? Can't he put this and 
that together, and see what it comes to?" 

Mr. Wilson's mind was one of those that may 
not unaptly be represented by a bale of cotton, — 
downy, soft, benevolently fuzzy and confused. 
He really pitied 'George with all his heart, and 
had a sort of dim and cloudy perception of the 
Style of feeling that agitated him ; but he deemed 
it his duty to go on talking good to him with 
infinite pertinacity. 

" George, this is bad. I must tell you, you 
know, as a friend, you 'd better not be meddling 
with such notions ; they are bad, George, very 
bad, for boys in your condition, — very;" and 
Mr. Wilson sat down to a table, and began nerv- 
ously chewing the handle of his umbrella. 

" See here, now, Mr. Wilson," said George, 
coming up and sitting himself determinately down 
in front of him ; " look at me, now. Don't I sit 
before you, every way, just as much a man as 
you are ? Look at my face, — look at my hands, — 
look at my body," and the young man drew himself 
Up proudly ; " why am I not a man, as much as 
anybody? Well, Mr. Wilson, hear what I can 
tell you. I had a father — one of your Kentucky 

fentlemen — who did n't think enough of me to 
eep me from being sold with his dogs and horses, 
to satisfy the estate when he died. I saw my 
mother put up at sheriff's sale, with her seven 
Children. They were sold before her eyes, one by 
one, all to different masters ; and I was the 
youngest. She came and kneeled down before 
ojld Mas'r, and begged him to buy her with me, 
that she might have at least one child with her ; 
and he kicked her away with his heavy boot. I 
saw him do it ; and the last that I heard was her 
moans and screams, when I was tied to his horse's 
neck, to be carried off to his place." 
"Well, then?" 

" My master traded with one of the men, and 
bought my oldest sister. She was a pious, good 
girl, — a member of the Baptist church, — and 
as handsome as my poor mother had been. She 
was well brought up, and had good manners. At 
first, I was glad she was bought, for I had one 
friend near me. I was soon sorry for it. Sir, I 
have stood at the door, and heard her whipped, 
when it seemed as if every blow cut into my 
naked heart, and I could n't do anything to help 
ber ; and she was whipped, sir, for wanting to 
live a decent Christian life, such as your laws 
give no slave girl a right to live ; and at last I 
sa.w her chained with a trader's gang, to be sent 
to market in Orleans, — sent there for nothing 



else but that, — and that's the last I know of 
her. Well, I grew up, — long years and years, 
— - no father, no mother, no sister, not a living 
soul that cared for me more than a dog ; nothing 
but whipping, scolding, starving. Why, sir, I 've 
been so hungry that I have been glad to take the 
bones they threw to their dogs ; and yet, when I 
Was a little fellow, and laid awake whole nights 
and cried, it was n't the hunger, it was n't the 
whipping, I cried for. No, sir ; it was for my 
mother and my sisters, — it was because I had n't 
a friend to love me on earth. I never knew what 
peace or comfort was. I never had a kind word 
spoken to me till I came to work in your factory. 
Mr. Wilson, you treated me well ; you encour- 
aged me to do well, and to learn to read and write, 
and to try to make something of myself ; and God 
knows how grateful'. I am for it. Then, sir, I 
found my wife ; you 've seen her, — you know 
how beautiful she is. When I found she loved 
me, when I married her, I scarcely could believe 
I was alive, I was so happy ; and, sir, she is as 
good as she is beautiful. But now what? Why, 
now comes my master, takes me right away from 
my work, and my friends, and all I like, and 
grinds me down into the very dirt ! And why ? 
Because, he says, I forgot who I was ; he saj^s, 
to teach me that I am only a nigger ! After all, 
and last of all, he comes between me and my 
wife, and says I shall give her up, and live with 
another woman. And all this your laws give him 
power to do, in spite of God or man. Mr. Wil- 
son, look at it ! There is n't one of all these 
things, that have broken the hearts of my mother 
and my sister, and my wife and myself, but your 
laws allow, and give every man power to do, in 
Kentucky, and none can say to him nay ! Do 
you call these the laws of my country ? Sir, I 
have n't any country, any more than I have any 
father. But I 'm going to have one. I don't 
want anything of your country, except to be let 
alone, — to go peaceably out of it ; and when 1 
get to Canada, where the laws will own me and 
protect me, that shall be my country, and its laws 
I will obey. But if any man tries to stop me, 
let him take care, for I am desperate. I '11 fight 
for my liberty to the last breath I breathe. Yoi* 
say your fathers did it ; if it was right for them, 
it is right for me !" 

This speech, delivered partly while sitting at 
the table, and partly walking up and down the 
room, — delivered with tears, and flashing eyes, 
and despairing gestures, — was altogether too 
much for the good-natured old body to whom it 
was addressed, who had pulled out a great yellow 
silk pocket-handkerchief, and was mopping up 
his face with great energy. 

"Blast 'em all!" he suddenly broke out. 
"Haven't I always said so — the infernal old 
cusses ! I hope I an't swearing, now. Well ! 
go ahead, George, go ahead ; but be careful, my 
boy ; don't shoot anybody, George, unless — well 
— you'd better not shoot, I reckon ; at least, I 
would n't hit anybody, you know. Where is your 
wife, George?" he added, as he nervously rose, 
and began walking the room. 

" Gone sir, gone, with her child in her arms, 
the Lord only knows where ; — gone after the 
north star ; and when we ever meet, or whether 
we meet at all in this world, no creature can 
tell." 

"Is it possible! astonishing! from such a 
kind family?" 



4G 






UNCLE TOM S CABIN I OR, 



" Kind families get in debt, and the laws of 
Gfcr country allow them to sell the child out of its 
mother's hosom to pay its master's debts," said 
George, bitterly. 

" Well, well," said the honest old man, fum- 
bling in his pocket. " I s'pose, perhaps, I an't 
following my judgment, — hang it, I worCt follow 
my judgment!" he added, suddenly ; " so here, 
George," and, taking out a roll of bills from his 
pocket-book, he offered them to George. 

"No, my kind, good sir!" said George, 
* you 've done a great deal for me, and this might 
get you into trouble. I have money enough, I 
hope, to take me as far as I need it." 

"No; but you must, George. Money is a 
great help everywhere ; — can't have too much, 
if you get it honestly. Take % it, — do take it, 
now, — do, my boy !" 

" On condition, sir, that I may repay it at some 
future time, I will," said George, taking up the 
money. 

" And now, George, how long are you going to 
travel in this way ? — not long or far, I hope. It 's 
well carried on, but too bold. And this black 
fellow, — who is he ?" 

" A true fellow, who went to Canada more than 
a year ago. He heard, after he got there, that 
his master was so angry at him for going off that 
he had whipped his poor old mother ; and he has 
come all the way back to comfort her, and get a 
chance to get her away." 

" Has he got her?" 

" Not yet ; he has been hanging about the 
place, and found no chance yet. Meanwhile, he 
is going with me as far as Ohio, to put me among 
friends that helped him, and then he will come 
back after her." 

"Dangerous, very dangerous!" said the old 
man. 

George drew himself up, and smiled disdain- 
fully. 

The old gentleman eyed him from head to foot, 
with a sort of innocent wonder. 

" George, something has brought you out won- 
derfully. You hold up your head, and speak and 
move like another man," said Mr. Wilson. 
Hf "Because I 'm a freeman!" said George, 
proudly. " Yes, sir; I 've said Mas'r for the last 
time to any man. / 'mfree /" 

" Take care ! You are not sure, — you may be 
taken." 

" All men are free and equal in the grave, if it 
comes to that, Mr. Wilson," said George. 

" I 'm perfectly dumb-foundered with your bold- 
ness !" said Mr. Wilson, — "to come right here 
to the nearest tavern !" 

" Mr. Wilson, it is so bold, and this tavern is 
so near, that they will never think of it ; they will 
look for me on ahead, and you yourself would n't 
know me. Jim's master don't live in this coun- 
try ; he is n't known in these parts. Besides, he 
is given up ; nobody is looking after him, and 
nobody will take me up from the advertisement, I 
think." 

" But the mark in your hand?" 

George drew off his glove, and showed a newly- 
healed scar in his hand. 

" That is a parting proof of Mr. Harris' re- 
gard," he said, scornfully. " A fortnight ago, he 
took it into his head to give it to me, because he- 
said he believed I should try to get away, one of 
these days. Looks interesting, doesn't it?" be 
said, drawing his glovo on again. 



i affn 



" I declare, my very blood runs cold when I 
think of it, — your condition and your risks!" 
said Mr. Wilson. 

" Mine has run cold a good many years, Me. 
Wilson ; at present, it 's about up to the boiling 
point," said George. 

" Well, my good sir," continued George, after 
a few moments' silence, " I saw you knew me ; I 
thought I 'd just have this talk with you, lest your 
surprised looks should bring me out. I leave early 
to-morrow morning, before daylight ; by to-morrow 
night I hope to sleep safe in Ohio. I shall travel 
by daylight, stop at the best hotels, go to the dii> 
ner-tahles with the lords of the land. So, goocl- 
by, sir ; if you hear that I 'm taken, you may 
know that I 'm dead !" 

George stood up like a rock, and put out his 
hand with the air of a prince. The friendly little 
old man shook it heartily, and after a little shower 
of caution, he took his umbrella, and fumbled his 
way out of the room. 

George stood thoughtfully looking at the door., 
as the old man closed it. A thought seemed to 
flash across his mind. He hastily stepped to it, 
and opening it, said, 

" Mr. Wilson, one word more." 

The old gentleman entered again, and George, 
as before, locked the door, and then stood for a few 
moments looking on the floor, irresolutely. At 
last, raising his head with a sudden effort — 

" Mr. Wilson, you have shown yourself a Christ 
tian in your treatment of me, — I want to ask one 
last deed of Christian kindness of you." 

" Well, George." 

" Well, sir, — what you said was true. I am 
running a dreadful risk. There is n't, on earth, a 
living soul to care if I die," he added, drawing his 
breath hard, and speaking with a great effort, — 
" I shall be kicked out and buried like a clog, and 
nobody '11 think of it a day after, — only my poor 
wife ! Poor soul ! she '11 mourn and grieve ; and 
if you 'd only contrive, Mr. Wilson, to send this 
little pin to her. She gave it to me for a Christ>- 
mas present, poor child ! Give it to her, and tell 
her I loved her to the last. Will you? Will 
you?" he added, earnestly. 

"Yes, certainly — poor fellow!" said the old 
gentleman, taking the pin, with watery eyes, and 
a melancholy quiver in his voice. 

" Tell her one thing," said George ; " it 's my 
last wish, if she can get to Canada, to go there. 
No matter how kind her mistress is, — no matte? 
how much she loves her home ; beg her not to go 
back, — for slavery always ends in misery. Tell 
her to bring up our boy a free man, and then he 
won't suffer as I have. Tell her this, Mr. Wilson, 
will you ?" 

" Yes, George, I '11 tell her ; but I trust yon 
won't die ; take heart, — you 're a brave fellow. 
Trust in the Lord, George. I wish in my heart 
you were safe through , though , — that 's what I 
do." 

" Is there a God to trust in?" said George, m 
such a tone of bitter despair as arrested the old 
gentleman's words. " 0, I 've seen things all my 
life that have made me feel that there can't be a 
God. You Christians don't know how these thing? 
look to us. There 's a God for you, but is there 
any for us ? " 

"0, now, don't — don't, my boy !" said the old 
man, almost sobbing as he spoke ; " don't feel so ! 
There is — there is ; clouds and darkness are around 
about him, but righteousness and judgment are 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



47 



the habitation of his throne. There 's a God, 
George, — believe it ; trust in Him, and I 'm sure 
He '11 help you. Everything will be set right, — 
if not in this life, in another." 

The real piety and benevolence of the simple 
old man invested him with a temporary dignity 
and authority, as he spoke. George stopped his 
distracted walk up and down the room, stood 
thoughtfully a moment, and then said, quietly, 

" Thank you for saying that, my good friend; 
I '11 think of tliat." 



CHAPTER XII. 

SELECT INCIDENT OF LAWFUL TRADE. 

K In Ramah there was a voice heard, — weeping, and lamenta- 
tion, and great mourning ; Rachel weeping for her children, and 
would not be comforted." 

Mr. Haley and Tom jogged onward in their 
wagon, each, for a time, absorbed in his own re- 
flections. Now, the reflections of two men sitting 
side by side are a curious thing, — seated on the 
same seat, having the same eyes, ears, hands and 
organs of all sorts, and having pass before their 
eyes the same objects, — it is wonderful what a 
variety we shall find in these same reflections ! 

As, for example, Mr. Haley : he thought first of 
Tom's length, and breadth, and height, and what 
he would sell for, if he was kept fat and in good 
case till he got him into market. He thought of 
how he should make out his gang ; he thought of 
the respective market value of certain supposi- 
titious men and women and children who were to 
compose it, and other kindred topics of the busi- 
ness ; then he thought of himself, and how humane 
he was, that whereas other men chained their 
" niggers" hand and foot both, he only put fetters 
on the feet, and left Tom the use of his hands, as 
long as he behaved well ; and he sighed to think 
how ungrateful human nature was, so that there 
was ever room to doubt whether Tom appreciated 
his mercies. He had been taken in so by " nig- 
gers" whom he had favored ; but still he was 
astonished to consider how good-natured he yet 
remained ! 

As to Tom, he was thinking over some words of 
an unfashionable old book, which kept running 
through his head, again and again, as follows : 
** We have here no continuing city, but we seek 
one to come ; wherefore God himself is not ashamed 
to be called our God ; for he hath prepared for us 
a city." These words of an ancient volume, got 
up principally by " ignorant and unlearned men," 
have, through all time, kept up, somehow, a 
strange sort of power over the minds of poor, sim- 
ple fellows, like Tom. They stir up the soul from 
its depths, and rouse, as with trumpet call, cour- 
age, energy and enthusiasm, where before was 
only the blackness of despair. „ 

Mr. Haley pulled out of his pocket sundry 
newspapers, and began looking over their adver- 
tisements, with absorbed interest. He was not 
a remarkably fluent reader, and was in the habit 
of reading in a sort of recitative half-aloud, by 
wayof calling in his ears to verify the deductions 
of his eyes. In this tone he slowly recited the 
following paragraph : 

" Executor's Sale, — Negroes ! — Agreeably to order 
cff court, will be sold, on Tuesday, February 20, before 
the Court-house door, in the town of Washington, Ken- 
tucky, the following negroes : Hagar, aged GO ; John, 



aged 30 ; Ben, aged 21 ; Saul, aged 23 ; Albert, aged 
14. Sold for the benefit of the creditors and heirs of tho 
estate of Jesse Blutchford, Esq. 

Samuel Morris, 
Thomas Elint, 

Execviors" 

" This yer I must look at," said he to Tom, for 
want of somebody else to talk to. 

" Ye see, I 'm going to get up a prime gang to 
take down with ye, Tom ; it '11 make it sociable 
and pleasant like, — good company will, ye know. 
We must drive right to -Washington first and 
foremost, and then I '11 clap you into jail, while I 
does the business." 

Tom received this agreeable intelligence quite 
meekly ; simply wondering, in his own heart, how 
many of these doomed men had wives and chil- 
dren, and whether they would feel as he did 
about leaving them. It is to be confessed, too, 
that the naive , off hand information that he was 
to be thrown into jail by no means produced an 
agreeable impression on a poor fellow who had 
always prided himself on a strictly honest and 
upright course of life. Yes, Tom, we must con- 
fess it, was rather proud of his honesty, poor 
fellow, — not having very much else to be proud 
of ; — if he had belonged to some of the higher 
walks of society, he, perhaps, would never have 
been reduced to such straits. However, the day 
wore on, and the evening saw Haley and Tom 
comfortably accommodated in Washington, — the 
one in a tavern, and the other in a jail. 

About eleven o'clock the next day, a mixed 
throng was gathered around the court-house 
steps, — smoking, chewing, spitting, swearing, 
and conversing, according to their respective 
tastes and turns, — waiting for the auction to 
commence. The men and women to be sold sat 
in a group apart talking in a low tone to each 
other. The woman who had been advertised by 
the name of Hagar was a regular African in 
feature and figure. She might have been sixty, 
but was older than that by hard work and dis- 
ease, was partially blind, and somewhat crippled 
with rheumatism. By her side stood her only 
remaining son, Albert, a bright-looking little fel- 
low of fourteen years. The boy was the only 
survivor of a large family, who had been succes- 
sively sold away from her to a southern market. 
The mother held on to him with both her shaking 
hands, and eyed with intense trepidation every 
one who walked up to examine him. 

" Don't be feard, Aunt Hagar," said the oldest 
of the men, " I spoke to Mas'r Thomas 'bout it, 
and he thought he might manage to sell you in a 
lot both together." 

" Hey need n't call me worn out yet," said she, 
lifting her shaking hands. " I can cook } r et, and 
scrub, and scour, — I 'm wuth a buying, if I do 
come cheap; — tell 'em dat ar, -^you tell 'em," 
she added, earnestly. 

Haley here forced his way into the group, 
walked up to the old man, pulled his mouth open 
and looked in, felt of his teeth, made him stand 
and straighten himself, bend his back, and per- 
form various evolutions to show his muscles ; and 
then passed on to the next, and put him through 
the same trial. Walking up last to the boy, he 
felt of his arms, straightened his hands, and 
looked at his fingers, and made him jump, to 
show his agility. 

" He an"t gwino to be sold widout me!" said 
the old woman, with passionate eagerness; "he 



48 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR, 



and T goes in a lot together ; I 's rail strong yet, 
Mas'r, and can do heaps o' work, — heaps on it, 
Mas'r." 

"On plantation?" said Haley, with a con- 
temptuous glance. "Likely story!" and, as if 
satisfied with his examination, he walked out and 
looked, and stood with his hands in his pocket, 
his cigar in his mouth, and his hat cocked on one 
side, ready for action. 

" What think of 'em?" said a man who had 
been following Haley's examination, as if to make 
up his own mind from it. 

" Wal," said Haley, spitting, " I shall put in, 
I think, for the youngerly ones and the boy." 

' ' They want to sell the boy and the old woman 
together," said the man. 

"Find it a tight pull; — why, she's an old 
rack o' bones, — not worth her salt." 

" You wouldn't, then?" said the man. 

" Anybody 'd be a fool 't would. She 's half 
blind, crooked with rheumatis, and foolish to 
boot." 

" Some buys up these yer old critturs, and ses 
there 's a sight more wear in 'em than a body 'd 
think," said the man, reflectively. 

" No go, 't all," said Haley ; " wouldn't take 
her for a present, — fact, — I 've seen, now." 

"Wal, 'tis kinder pity, now, not to buy her 
with her son, — her heart seems so sot on him, 

— s'pose they fling her in cheap." 

" Them that 's got money to spend that ar way, 
it 's all well enough. I shall bid off on that ar 
boy for a plantation-hand j — would n't be both- 
ered with her, no way, — not if they 'd give her 
to me," said Haley. 

" She '11 take on desp't," said the man. 

" Nat'lly, she will," said the trader, coolly. 

The conversation was here interrupted by a 
busy hum in the audience ; and the auctioneer, a 
short, bustling, important fellow, elbowed his 
way into the crowd. The old woman drew in her 
breath, and caught instinctively at her son. 

"Keep close to yer mammy, Albert, — close, 

— dey '11 put us up togedder," she said. 

"0, mammy, I 'm feard they won't," said the 
boy. 

"Dey must, child; I can't live, no ways, if 
they don't," said the old creature, vehemently. 

The stentorian tones of the auctioneer, calling 
out to clear the way, now announced that the 
sale was about to commence. A place was 
cleared, and the bidding began. The different 
men on the list were soon knocked off at prices 
which showed a pretty brisk demand in the 
market ; two of them fell to Haley. 

" Come, now, young un," said the auctioneer, 
giving the boy a touch with his hammer, "be up 
and show, your springs, now." 

"Put us two up togedder, togedder, — do, 
please, Mas'r," said the old woman, holding fast 
to her boy. 

"Be off," said the man, gruffly, pushing her 
hands away; "you come last. Now, darkey, 
spring ;" and, with the word, he pushed the boy 
toward the block, while a deep, heavy groan rose 
behind him. The boy paused, and looked back ; 
but there was no time to stay, and, dashing the 
tears from his large, bright eyes, he was up in a 
moment. 

His fine figure, alert limbs, and bright face, 
raised an instant competition, and halt a dozen 
bids simultaneously met the ear of the auctioneer. 
Anxious, half- frightened, he looked from side to 



side, as he heard the clatter of contending bids, 

— now here; now there, — till the hammer fi 11 

Haley had got him. lie was pushed from th» 
block toward his hew master, but stopped one 

moment, and looked back, when his poor old 
mother, trembling in every limb, held out her 
shaking hands toward him. 

" Buy me too, Mas'r, for de dear Lord's sake! 

— buy me, — I shall die, if you don't!" 
"You'll die if I do, that 's the kink of it," 

said Haley, — "no!" And he turned on his 
heel. 

The bidding for the poor old creature was sum- 
mary. The man who had addressed Haley, and 
who seemed not destitute of compassion, bought 
her for a trifle, and the spectators began to dis- 
perse. 

The poor victims of the sale, who had been 
brought up in one place together for years, gath- 
ered round the despairing old mother, whose 
agony was pitiful to see. 

"Couldn't dey leave me one? Mas'r allers 
said I should have one, — he did," she repeated 
over and over, in heart-broken tones. 

" Trust in the Lord, Aunt'Hagar," said the old- 
est of the men, sorrowfully. 

"What good will it do?" said she, sobbing 
passionately. 

"Mother, mother, — don't! don't!" said the 
boy. " They say you 's got a good master." 

"I don't care, — I don't care. 0, Albert! 
0, my boy! you 's my last baby. Lord, how 
ken I?" 

" Come, take her off, can't some of ye?" said 
Haley, dryly; "don't do no good for her to go 
on that ar way." 

The old men of the company, partly by persua- 
sion and partly by force, loosed the poor crea- 
ture's last despairing hold, and, as they led her 
off to her new master's wagon, strove to comfort 
her. 

"Now!" said Haley, pushing his three pur- 
chases together, and producing a bundle of hand- 
cuffs, which he proceeded to put on their wrists ; 
and fastening each handcuff to a long chain, he 
drove them before him to the jail. 

A few days saw Haley, with his possessions, 
safely deposited on one of the Ohio boats. It 
was the commencement of his gang, to be aug- 
mented, as the boat moved on, by various other 
merchandise of the same kind, which he, or his 
agent, had stored for him in various points alcr.g 
shore . 

The La Belle Riviere, as brave and beautiful a 
boat as ever walked the waters of her namesake 
river, was floating gayly down the stream, under 
a brilliant sky, the stripes and stars of free 
America waving and fluttering over head ; the 
guards crowded with well-dressed ladies and gen- 
tlemen walking and enjoying the delightful day. 
All was full of life, buoyant and rejoicing ; — all 
but Haley's gang, who were stored, with other 
freight, on the lower deck, and who, somehow, 
did not seem to appreciate their various privi- 
leges, as they sat in a knot, talking to each other 
in low tones. 

" Boys," said Haley, coming up, briskly, " I 
hope you keep up good heart, and are cheerful* 
Now, no sulks, ye see ; keep stiff upper lip* 
bcfys ; do well by me, and I '11 do well by you.'' 

The boys addressed responded the invariable 
" Yes, Mas'r," for ages the watchword of poor 
Africa ; but it 's to be owned they did not look 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



49 



particularly cheerful ; they had their various lit- 
tle prejudices in favor of wives, mothers, sisters 
and children, seen for the last time, — and though 
" they that wasted them required of them mirth," 
it was not instantly forthcoming. 

a i > ve g t a wife," spoke out the article enu- 
merated as " John, aged thirty," and he laid his 
chained hand on Tom's knee, — " and she don't 
know a xyord about this, poor girl !" 

" "Where does she live?" said Tom. 

"In a tavern, a piece down here," said John ; 
" I wish, now, I could see her once more in this 
world," he added. 

Poor John ! It was rather natural ; and the 
tears that fell, as he spoke, came as naturally as 
if he had been a white man. Tom drew a long 
breath from a sore heart, and tried, in his poor 
way, to comfort him. 

And over head, in the cabin, sat fathers and 
mothers, husbands and wives ; and merry, danc- 
ing children moved round among them, like so 
many little butterflies, and everything' was going 
on quite easy and comfortable. 

"0, mamma," said a boy, who had just come 
up from below, " there 's a negro trader on board, 
and he 's brought four or five slaves down there." 

" Poor creatures !" said the mother, in a tone 
between grief and indignation. 

" What 's that?" said another lady. 

" Some poor slaves below," said the mother. 

" And they 've got chains on," said the boy. 

""What a shame to our country that such 
sights are to be seen !" said another lady. 

"0, there 's a great deal to be said on both 
sides of the subject," said a genteel woman, who 
sat at -hex stats-room door sewing, while her little 
girl and boy were playing round her. "I've 
been south, and I must say I think the negroes 
are better off than they would be to be free." 

" In some respects, some of them are well off, 
I grant," said the lady 'to whose remark she had 
answered. " The most, dreadful part of slavery, 
to my mind, is its outrages on the feelings and 
affections, — the separating of families, for ex- 
ample." 

"That is a bad thing, certainly," said the 
other lady, holding up a baby's dress she had 
just completed, and looking intently on its trim- 
mings ; " but then, I fancy, it don't occur often J' 

"0, it does," said the first lady, eagerly; 
" I 've lived many years in Kentucky and Virginia 
both, and I 've seen enough to make any me 's heart 
sick. Suppose, ma'am, your two children, there, 
should be taken from you, and sold?" 

" "We can't reason from our feelings to those 
of this class ol persons," said the other lady, 
sorting out some worsteds on her lap. 

"Indeed, ma'am, you can know nothing of 
them, if you say so," answered the first lady, 
warmly. " I was born and brought up among 
them. I know they do feel, just as keenly, — 
even more so, perhaps, — as we do." 

The lady said " Indeed!" yawned, and looked 
out the cabin window, and finally repeated, for a 
finale, the remark with which she had begun, — 
" After all, I think they are better off than they 
would be to be free." 

" It 's undoubtedly the intention of Providence 
that the African race should be servants, — kept 
in a low condition," said a grave-looking gentle- 
man in black, a clergyman, seated by the cabin- 
door. " ' Cursed be Canaan ; a servant of serv- 
ants shall he be,' the scripture says." 

4 



"I say, stranger, is that ar what that text 
means?" said a tall man, standing by. 

"Undoubtedly. It* pleasecl Providence, for 
some inscrutable reason, to doom the race to 
bondage, ages ago ; and we must not set up our 
opinion against that." 

"Well, then, we'll all go ahead and buy up 
niggers," said the man, "if that's the way of 
Providence, — won't we, Squire?" said he, turn- 
ing to Haley, who had been standing, with his 
hands in his pockets, by the stove, and intently 
listening to the conversation. 

" Yes," continued the tall man, " we must all 
be resigned to the decrees of Providence . Niggers 
must be sold, and trucked round, and kept under ; 
it 's what they 's made for. 'Pears like this yer 
view's quite refreshing, an't it, stranger?" said 
he to Haley. 

"I never thought on't," said Halev. " 1 
couldn't have said as much, myself; I ha'nt no 
laming. I took up the trade just to make a liv- 
ing ; if 't an't right, I calculated to 'pent on 't in 
time, ye know." 

"And now you'll save yerself the trouble, 
won't ye?" said the tall man. " See what 't is, 
now, to know scripture. If ye 'd only studied yer 
Bible, like this yer good man, ye might have 
know'd it before, and saved ye a heap o' trouble. 
Ye could jist have said, 'Cussed be' — what's 
his name? — and 't would all have come right." 
And the stranger, who was no other than the 
honest drover whom we introduced to our readers 
in the Kentucky tavern, sat down, and began 
smoking, with a curious smile on his long, dry 
face. 

A tall, slender young man, with a face express- 
ive of great feeling and intelligence, here broke 
in, and repeated the words, " ' All things what- 
soever ye would that men should do unto you, do 
ye even so unto them.' I suppose," he added, 
" that is scripture, as much as 'Cursed be Ca- 
naan.' " 

" Wal, it seems quite as plain a text, stranger," 
said John the drover, " to poor fellows like us, 
now ;" and John smoked on like a volcano. 

The young man paused, looked as if he was 
going to say more, when suddenly the boat 
stopped, and the company made the usual steam- 
boat rush, to see where they were landing. 

" Both them ar chaps parsons?" said John to 
one of the men, as they were going out. 

The man nodded. 

As the boat stopped, a black woman came run- 
ning wildly up the plank, darted into the crowd, 
flew up to where the slave-gang sat, and threw 
her arms round that unfortunate piece of merchan- 
dise before enumerated, "John, aged thirty," 
and with sobs and tears bemoaned him as her 
husband. 

But what needs tell the story, told too oft, — 
every day told, — of heart-strings rent and broken, 
— the weak broken and torn for the profit and 
convenience of the strong ! It needs not to be 
told; — every day is telling it, — telling it, too, 
in the ear of One who is not deaf, though he be 
long silent. 

The young man who had spoken for the cause 
of humanity and God before stood with folded 
arms, looking on this scene. He turned, and 
Haley was standing at his side. " My friend," 
he said, speaking with thick utterance, " how can 
you, how dare you, carry on a trade like this . 
Look at those poor creatures ! Here I am, rejoic- 



50 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN I OR 



ing in my heart that I am going home to my wife 
and child ; and the same bell which is a signal 
to carry me onward towards them will part this 
poor man and his wife forever. Depend upon it, 
God will bring you into judgment for this." 

The trader turned away in silence. 

" I say, now," said the drover, touching his 
elbow, " there 's differences in parsons, an't there ? 
' Cussed be Canaan' don't seem to go down with 
this 'un, does it?" 

Haley gave an uneasy growl. 

" And that ar an't the worst on 't," said John ; 
11 mabbe it w r on't go down with the Lord, neither, 
when ye come to settle with Him, one o' these 
days, as all on us must, I reckon." 

Haley walked reflectively to the other end of 
the boat. 

" If I make pretty handsomely on one or two 
next gangs," he thought, " I reckon I'll stop off 
this yer; it's really getting dangerous." And 
he took out his pocket-book, and began adding 
oyer his accounts, — a process which many gen- 
tlemen besides Mr. Haley have found a specific 
for an uneas^r conscience. 

The boat swept proudly away from the shore, 
and all went on merrily, as before. Men talked, 
and loafed, and read, and smoked. Women sewed, 
and children played, and the boat passed on her 
way. 

One day, when she lay to for a while at a 
small town in Kentucky, Haley went up into the 
place on a little matter of business. 

Tom, whose fetters did not prevent his taking 
a moderate circuit, had drawn near the side of 
the boat, and stood listlessly gazing over the rail- 
ings. After a time, he saw the trader returning, 
with an alert step, in company with a colored 
woman, bearing in her arms a young child. She 
was dressed quite respectably, and a colored man 
followed her, bringing along a small trunk. The 
woman came cheerfully onward, talking, as she 
came, with the man who bore her trunk, and so 
passed up the plank into the boat. The bell 
rung, the steamer whizzed, the engine groaned 
und coughed, and away swept the boat clown the 
river. 

The woman walked forward among the boxes 
and bales of the lower deck, and, sitting down, 
busied herself with chirruping to her baby. 

Haley made a turn or two about the boat, and 
then, coming up, seated himself near her, and 
began saying something to her in an indifferent 
undertone. 

Tom soon noticed a heavy cloud passing over 
the woman's brow ; and that she answered rapid- 
ly, and with great vehemence. 

" I don't believe it, — I won't believe it ! " he 
heard her say. " You 're jist a foolin with me." 

" If you won't believe it, look here ! " said the 
man, drawing out a paper ; " this yer 's the bill 
of sale, and there 's your master's name to it ; 
and 1 paid down good solid cash for it, too, I can 
tell you, — so, now ! ' ' 

" I don't believe Mas'r would cheat me so ; it 
3an't be true !" said the woman, with increasing 
agitation. 

" You can ask any of these men here, that can 
read writing. Here!" he said, to a man that 
was passing by, "jist read this yer, won't you? 
This yer gal won't believe me, when I tell her 
what ; tis." 

" Why, it 's a bill of sale, signed by John Fos- 
lick," said the man, " making over to you the 



girl Lucy and her child, it 's all straight enough, 
tor aught I see." 

The woman's passionate exclamations collected 
a crowd around her, and the trader briefly ex- 
plained to them the cause of the agitation. 

" He told me that I was going down to Louis- 
ville, to hire out as a cook to the same tavern 
where my husband works, — that's what Ma.s'r 
told me, his own self; and 1 can't believe he M 
lie to me," said the woman. 

" But ho has sold you, my poor woman, there 's 
no doubt about it," said a good-natured looking 
man, who had been examining the papers; "he 
has done it, and no mistake." 

" Then it 's no account 'talking," said the 
woman, suddenly growing quite calm ; and, 
clasping her child tighter in her arms, she sat 
down on her box, turned her back round, and 
gazed listlessly into the river. 

" Going to take it easy, after all ! " said the 
trader. " Gal 's got grit, I see." 

The woman looked calm, as the boat w r cnt on ; 
and a beautiful soft summer breeze passed like a 
compassionate spirit over her head, — the gentle 
breeze, that never inquires whether the brow is 
dusky or fair that it fans. And she saw sunshine 
sparkling on the water, in golden ripples, and 
heard gay voices, full of ease and pleasure, talk- 
ing around her everywhere ; but her heart lay as 
if a great stone had Mien on it. Her baby raised 
himself up against her, and stroked her cheeks 
with his little hands ; and, springing up and 
down, crowing and chatting, seemed determined 
to arouse her. She strained him suddenly and 
tightly in her arms, and slowly one tear after 
another fell on his wondering, unconscious face ; 
and gradually she seemed, and little by little, to 
grow calmer, and busied herself with tending and 
nursing him. 

The child, a boy of ten months, was uncommon- 
ly large and strong of his age, and very vigorous 
in his limbs. Never, for a moment, still, he kept 
his mother constantly busy in holding him, and 
guarding his springing activity. 

" That 's a fine chap !" said a man, suddenly 
stopping opposite to him, with his hands in his 
pockets. " How old is he?" 

" Ten months and a half," said the mother. 

The man whistled to the boy, and offered him 
part of a stick of candy, which he eagerly grabbed 
at, and very soon had it in a baby's general de- 
pository, to wit, his mouth. 

"Rum fellow!" said the man. "Knows 
what's what!" and he whistled, and walked on. 
When he had got to the other side of the boat, he 
came across Haley, who was smoking on top of a 
pile of boxes. 

The stranger produced a match, and lighted a 
cig.ir, saying, as he did so, 

" Dccentish kind o' wench you've got round 
there, stranger." 

"Why, I reckon she is tol'able fair," said 
Haley, blowing the smoke out of his mouth. 

" Taking her down south?" said the man. 

Haley nodded, and smoked on. 

" Plantation hand?" said the man. 

" Wal," said Haley, " I 'm fillin' out an order 
for a plantation, and I think I shall put her in. 
They tolled me she was a good cook ; and they 
can use her for that, or set her at the cotton- 
picking. She 's got the right fingers for that ; I 
looked at 'em. Sell well, either way;" and 
Haley resumed his cigar. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



51 



" They won't want the young 'un on a planta- 
tion," said the man. 

" I shall sell him, first chance I find," said 
Haley, lighting another cigar. 

" S'pose you 'd be selling him tol'able cheap," 
said the stranger, mounting the pile of boxes, and 
sitting down comfortably. 

" Don't know 'bout that," said Haley ; "he 's 
a pretty smart young 'un, — straight, fat, strong ; 
flesh as hard as a brick !" 

" Very true, but then there 's all the bother 
and expense of raisin'." 

" Nonsense !" said Haley ; " they is raised as 
easy as any kind of critter there is going ; they 
an't a bit more trouble than pups. This yer 
chap will be running all round in a month." 

"I've got a good place for raisin', and I 
thought of takin' in a little more stock," said the 
man. " One cook lost a young 'un last week, — 
got drownded in a wash-tub, while she was a 
hangin' out clothes, — and I reckon it would be 
well enough to set her to raisin' this yer." 

Haley and the stranger smoked a while in 
silence, neither seeming willing to broach the test 
question of the interview. At last the man 
resumed : 

"You wouldn't think of wantin' more than 
ten dollars for that ar chap, seeing you must get 
him off yer hand, any how? " 

Haley shook his head, and spit impressively. 

" That won't do, no ways," he said, and began 
his smoking again. 

" Well, stranger, what will you take?" 

" Well, now," said Haley, " I could raise that 
ar chap myself, or get him raised ; he 's oncom- 
mon likely and healthy, and he 'd fetch a hun- 
dred dollars six months hence ; and, in a year or 
two, he 'd bring two hundred, if I had him in 
the right spot ; — so I shan't take a cent less 
nor fifty for him now." 

"0, stranger! that's rediculous, altogether," 
said the man. 

" Fact !" said Haley, with a decisive nod of his 
head. 

" I '11 give thirty for him," said the stranger, 
" but not a cent more." 

" Now, I '11 tell ye what I will do," said Ha- 
ley, spitting again, with renewed decision. " I '11 
split the difference, and say forty-five ; and that 's 
the most I will do." 

" Well, agreed !" said the man, after an inter- 
val. 

" Done !" said Haley. " Where do you land V 

" At Louisville," s.iid the man. 

"Louisville," s.iid Haley. "Very fair,, we* 
get there about dusk. Chap will be asleep, — 
all fair, — get him off quietly, and no screaming, 
— happens beautiful, — I like to do everything 
quietly, — I hates all kind of agitation and flus- 
ter." And so, after a transfer of certain bills 
had passed from the man's pocket-book to the 
trader's, he resumed his cigar. . 

It was a bright, tranquil evening when the boat 
stopped at the wharf at Louisville. The woman 
had been sitting with her baby in her arms, now 
wrapped in a heavy sleep. When she heard the 
nape of the place called out, she hastily laid the 
child down in a little cradle formed by the hollow 
among the boxes, first carefully spreading under 
it her cloak ; and then she sprung to the side of 
the boat, in hopes that, among the various hotel- 
waiters who thronged the wharf, she might see 
her husband. In this hope, she pressed forward 



to the front rails, and, stretching far over them, 
strained her eyes intently on the moving heads on 
the shore, and the crowd pressed in between her 
and the child. 

" Now 's your time," said Haley, taking the 
sleeping child up, and handing him to the 
stranger. " Don't wake him up, and set him to 
crying, now ; it would make a devil of a fuss with 
the gal." The man took the bundle carefully, 
and was soon lost in the crowd that went up the 
wmarf. 

When the boat, creaking, and groaning, and 
puffing, had loosed from the wharf, and was 
beginning slowly to strain herself along, the 
woman returned to her old seat. The trader was 
sitting there, — the child was gone ! 

" Why, why, — where V she began, in bewil- 
dered surprise. 

" Lucy," said the trader, " your child 's gone ; 
you may as well know it first as last. You see, 
I know'd you couldn't take him down south; 
and I got a chance to sell him to a first-rate* fam- 
ily, that '11 raise him better than you can." 

The trader had arrived at that stage of Chris- 
tian and political perfection which has been 
recommended by some preachers and politicians 
of the north, lately, in which he had completely 
overcome every humane weakness and prejudice. 
His heart was exactly where yours, sir, and mine, 
could be brought, with proper effort and cultiva- 
tion. The wild look of anguish and utter despair 
that the woman cast on him might have disturbed 
one less practised ; but he was used to it. He 
had seen that same look hundreds of times. You 
can get used to such things, too, my friend ; and 
it is the great object of recent efforts to make our 
whole northern community used to them, for the 
glory of the Union. So the trader only regarded 
the mortal anguish which he saw working in 
those dark features, those clenched hands, and 
suffocating breathings, as necessary incidents of 
the trade, and merely calculated whether she was 
going to scream, and get up a commotion on the 
boat ; for, like other supporters of our peculiar 
institution, he decidedly disliked agitation. 

But the woman did not scream. The shot had 
passed too straight and direct through the heart, 
for cry or tear. 

Dizzily she sat down. Her slack hands fell 
lifeless by her side. Her eyes looked straight 
forward, but she saw nothing. All the noise and 
hum of the boat, the groaning of the machinery, 
mingled dreamily to her bewildered ear ; and the 
poor, dumb-stricken heart had neither cry nor 
tear to show for its utter misery. She w r as quite 
calm. 

The trader, Who, considering his advantages, 
was almost as humane as some of our politicians, 
seemed to feel called on to administer such con- 
solation as the case admitted of. 

" I know this yer comes kinder hard, at first, 
Lucy," said he ; " but such a smart, sensible gal 
as you are won't give way to it. You see it 's 
necessary, and can't be helped !" 
' "0! don't, Mas'r, don't!" said the woman, 
with a voice liKe one that is smothering. 

" You 're a smart wench, Lucy," he persisted ; 
"I mean to do well by ye, and get ye a nice 
place down river ; and you '11 soon get another 
husband, — such a likely gal as you — " 

" ! Mas'r, if you on!;/ won't talk to me now," 
said the woman, in a voice of such quick and liv- 
ing anguish that the trader felt that there was 



52 



UNCLE TOiM S CABIN . OR, 



ls deaf with anguish, 



something a£ present in the case beyond his style 
of operation. lie got up, and the woman turned 
away, and buried War head in her cloak. 

The trader walked up and down for a time, and 
occasionally stopped and looked at her. 

" Takes it hard, rather," hp soliloquized, " but 
quiet, tho' ; — let her sweat a while ; she '11 come 
right, by and by !" 

Tom had watched the whole transaction from 
first to last, and had a perfect understanding of 
its results. To him, it looked like something 
f|nStterably horrible and cruel, because, poor, 
ignorant black soul ! he had not learned to gen- 
eralize, and to take enlarged views. If he had 
only been instructed by certain ministers of Chris- 
tianity, he might have thought better of it, and 
seen in it *n every-day incident of a lawful trade ; 
a trade which is the vital support of an institu- 
tion which some American divines tell us has no 
evils but such as are inseparable from any other 
relations in social and domestic life. But Tom, 
as we see, being a poor, ignorant fellow, whose 
reading had been confined entirely to the New 
Testament, could not comfort and solace himself 
with views like these. His very soul bled within 
him for what seemed to him the wrongs of the 
pc|r suffering thing that lay like a crushed reed 
on the boxes ; the feeling, living, bleeding, yet 
immortal tiring, which American state law coolly 
classes with the bundles, and bales, and boxes, 
among which she is lying. 

Tom drew near, and tried to say something ; 
but she only groaned. Honestly, and with tears 
running down his own cheeks-, he spoke of a heart 
of love in the skies, of a pitying Jesus, and an 
eternal home ; but the 
and the palsied heart could not feel 

Night came on, — night calm, unmoved, and 
glorious, shining down Avith her innumerable and 
solemn angel eyes, twinkling, beautiful, but silent. 
There was no speech nor language, no pitying 
voice nor helping ha"-«t from that distant sky. 
One after another, the voices of business or pleas- 
ure died away ; all on the boat were sleeping, and 
the ripples at the prow were plainly heard. Tom 
stretched himself out on a box, and there, as he 
lay, he heard, ever and anon, a smothered sob or 
cry from the prostrate creature, — "0! what 
shall I do ? Lord ! good Lord, do help 
me !" and so, ever and anon, until the murmur 
died away in silence. 

At midnight, Tom waked, with a sudden start. 
Something black passed quickly by him to the 
side of the boat, and he heard a splash in the 
water. No one else saw or heard anything. He 
raised his head, — the woman's place was vacant! 
He got up, and sought about him in vain. The 
poor bleeding heart was still, at last, and the 
river rippled and dimpled just as brightly as if it 
had not closed above it. 

Patience ! patience ! ye whose hearts swell 
indignant at wrongs like these. Not one throb 
of anguish, not one tear of the oppressed, is for- 
gotten by the Man of Sorrows, the Lord of Glory. 
J.n his patient, generous bosom he bears the an- 
guish of a world. Bear thou, like him, in patience, 
and labor in love; for sure as he is God, "the 
year of his redeemed shall come." 

The trader waked up bright and early, and 
came out to see to his live stock. It was now 
his turn to look about in perplexity. 

" Where alive is that gal ?" he said to Tom. 

Tom, who had learned the wisdom of keeping 



counsel, did not Feel called on to state his obscr- 
vationa and suspicions, but said he did not know. 

" She sunly could n't have got off in the night 
at any of the landings, for I was awake, and on 
the look-out, whenever the boat stopped. 1 never 
trust these yej things to other folks." 

This speech was addressed to Tom quite confi- 
dentially, as if it was something that would be 
specially interesting to him. Tom made no an- 
swer. 

The trader searched tho boat from stem to 
stern, among boxes, bales and barrels, around the 
machinery, by the chimneys, in vain. 

11 Now, I say, Tom, be fair about this ycr," he 
said, when, after a fruitless search, he came 
where Tom was standing. " You know some- 
thing about it, now. Don't tell me, — I know 
you do. I saw the gal stretched out here about 
ten o'clock, and ag*in at twelve, and ag'in be- 
tween one and two ; and then at four she was 
gone, and you. was a sleeping right there all the 
time. Now, you know something, -r- you can't 
help it." 

" Well, Mas'r," said Tom, " towards morning 
something brushed by me, and I kinder half 
Avoke ; and then I hearn a great splash, and then 
I clare woke up, and the gal was gone. That 's 
all I know on *t." 

The trader was not shocked nor amazed ; be- 
cause, as we said before, he was used to a great 
many things that you are not used to. Even the 
awful presence of Death struck no solemn chill 
upon mm. He had seen death many times, — 
met him in the way of trade, and got acquainted 
with him, — and he only thought of him as a 
hard customer, that embarrassed his property 
operations very unfairly ; and so he only swore 
that the gal was a baggage, and that he was 
devilish unlucky, and that, if things went on in 
this way, he should not make a cent on the trip. 
In short, he seemed to consider himself an ill- 
used m>in, decidedly ; but there was no help for 
it, as the woman had escaped into a state which 
never will give up a fugitive, — not even at the 
demand of the whole glorious Union. The trader, 
therefore, sat discontentedly down, with his little 
account-book, and put down the missing body 
and soul under the head of losses ! 

"He's a shocking creature, isn't he, — this 
trader? so unfeeling ! It 's dreadful, really !" 

"0, but nobody thinks anything of these 
traders ! They are universally despised, — never 
received into any decent society." 

But who, sir, makes the trader? Who is most 
to blame? The enlightened, cultivated, intelli- 
gent man, who supports the system of which the 
trader is the inevitable result, or the poor trader 
himself? You make the public sentiment that 
calls for his trade, that debauches and depraves 
him, till he feels no shame in it ; and in what 
are you better than he ? * 

Are you educated and he ignorant, you high 
and he low, you refined and he coarse, you talented 
and he simple ? 

In the day of a future Judgment, these very 
considerations may make it more tolerable for 
him than for you. 

In concluding these little incidents of lawful 
trade, we must beg the world not to think that 
American legislators are entirely destitute of 
humanity, as might, perhaps, be unfairly inferred 
from the great efforts made in our national body 
to protect and perpetuate this species of traffic. 



LIFE AMONG THE EOWLY. 



53 



"YVho docs not fnow how our great men are 
outdoing tiiem selves, in declaiming against the 
foreign slave-trade ? There are a perfect host of 
Clarksons and Wilberforces risen up among us 
on that subject, most edifying to hear and behold. 
Trading negroes from Africa, dear reader, is so 
horrid ! It is not to be thought of ! But trading 
them from Kentucky, — that 's quite another 
thing ! 



CHAPTER XIII. 

THE QUAKER SETTLEMENT. 

A quiet scene now rises before us. A large, 
roomy, neatly-painted kitchen, its yellow floor 
glossy and smooth, and without a particle of 
dust ; a neat, well-blacked cooking-stove ; rows 
of shining tin, suggestive of unmentionable good 
things to the appetite ; glossy green wood chairs, 
old and firm ; a small flag-bottomed rocking- 
chair, with a patch- work cushion in it, neatly 
contrived out of small pieces of different colored 
woollen goods, and a larger sized one, motherly 
and old, whose wide arms breathed hospitable 
invitation, seconded by the solicitation of its 
feather cushions, — a real comfortable, persua- 
sive old chair, and worth, in the way of honest, 
homely enjojmient, a dozen of your plush or 
brochetelle drawing-room gentry ; and in the 
chair, gently swaying back and forward, her eyes 
bent on some fine sewing, sat our old friend 
Eliza. Yes, there she is, paler and thinner than 
in her Kentucky home, with a world of quiet 
sorrow lying under the shadow of her long eye- 
lashes, and marking the outline of her gentle 
mouth ! It was plain to see how -old and firm 
the girlish heart was grown under the discipline 
of heavy sorrow ; and when, anon, her large 
dark eye was raised to follow the gambols of her 
little Harry, who was sporting, like some tropical 
butterfly, hither and thither over the floor, she 
showed a depth of firmness and steady resolve 
that was never there in her earlier and happier 
days. 

By her side sat a woman with a bright tin pan 
in her lap, into which she was carefully sorting 
some dried peaches. She might be fifty-five or 
sixty ; but hers was one of those faces that time 
seems to touch only to brighten and adorn. The 
snowy lisse crape cap, made after the strait 
Quaker pattern, — the plain white muslin hand- 
kerchief, lying in placid folds across her bosom, 
— the drab shawl and dress, — showed at once 
the community to which she belonged. Her face 
was round and rosy, with a healthful downy 
softness, suggestive of a ripe peach. Her hair, 
partially silvered by age, was parted smoothly 
back from a high placid forehead, on which time 
had written no inscription, except peace on earth, 
good will to men, and beneath shone a large pair 
of clear, honest, loving brown ej-es ; you only 
needed to look straight into them, to feel that 
you saw to the bottom of a heart as good and 
true as ever throbbed in woman's bosom. So 
much has been said and sung of beautiful young- 
girls, why don't somebody wake up to the beauty 
of old women? If any want to get up an inspir- 
ation under this head, we refer them to our good 
friend Rachel Halliday, just as she sits there in her 
little rocking-chair. It had a turn for quacking 
and squeaking —that chair had, — cither from 



having taken cold in early life, or from some asth- 
matic affection, or perhaps fr^.i nervous derange- 
ment ; but, as she gently swung backward and 
forward, the chair kept up a kind of subdued 
" creechy crawchy," that would have been intol- 
erable in any other chair. But old Simeon 
Halliday often declared it was as good as any 
music to him, and the children all avowed that 
they would n't miss of hearing mother's chair for 
anything in the world. For why? for twenty 
years or more, nothing but loving words, and 
gentle moralities, and motherly loving kindness, 
had come from that chair ; — head-aches and 
heart-aches innumerable had been cured there, — 
difficulties spiritual and temporal solved there, — 
all by one good, loving woman, God bless her ! 

" And so thee still thinks of going to Canada, 
Eliza?" she said, as she was quietly looting over 
her peaches. 

" Yes, ma'am," said Eliza, firmly. " I must go 
onward. I dare not stop." 

" And what '11 thee do, when thee gets there? 
Thee must think about that, my daughter." 

" My daughter" came naturally from the lips 
of Rachel Halliday; for hers was just the face and 
form that made "mother" seem the most natural 
word in the world. 

Eliza's hands trembled, and some tears fell on 
her fine work ; but she answered, firmly, 

" I shall do — anything I ^can find. I hope I 
can find something." 

" Thee knows thee can stay here, as locg as 
thee pleases," said Rachel. 

"0, thank you," said Eliza, "but" — she 
pointed to Harry — "I can't sleep nights ; I can't 
rest. Last night I dreamed I saw that man coming 
into the yard," she said, shuddering. 

" Poor child !" said Rachel, wiping her eyes ; 
" but thee must n't feel so. The Lord hath ordered 
it so that never hath a fugitive been stolen from 
our village. I trust thine will not be the first." 

The door here opened, and a little short, round, 
pincushiony woman stood at the door, with a 
cheery, blooming face, like a ripe apple. She was 
dressed, like Rachel, in sober gray, with the mus- 
lin folded neatly across her round, plump little 
chest. 

" Ruth Stedman," said Rachel, coming joyfully 
forward ; " how is thee, Ruth?" she said heartily 
taking both her hands. 

" JSiicely," said Ruth, taking off her little drab 
bonnet, and dusting it with her handkerchief, dis- 
playing, as she did so, a round little head, on 
which the Quaker cap sat with a sort of jaunty 
air, despite all the stroking and patting of the 
small fat hands, which were busily applied to ar- 
ranging it. Certain stray locks of decidedly curly 
hair, too, had escaped here and there, and had to 
be coaxed and cajoled into their place again ; and 
then the new comer, who might have been five- 
and-twenty, turned from the small looking-glass, 
before which she had been making these arrange- 
ments, and looked well pleased, — as most people 
who looked at her might have been, — for she was 
decidedly a wholesome, whole-hearted, chirruping' 
little woman, as ever gladdened man's heart 
withal. 

" Ruth, this friend is Eliza Harris ; and tius ia 
the little boy I told thee of." 

"I am glad to sec thee, Eliza, — very." said 
Ruth, shaking hands, as if Eliza were an old friend 
she had long been expecting ; " and this is thy 
dear boy, — I brought a cake for him,"' she said, 



54 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR, 



holding out a little heart to the boy, who came 
up gazing through his curls, and accepted it 
shylv. 

"Where 's thy baby, Ruth ?" said Rachel. 

" 0, he 's coming ; but thy Mary caught him as 
I came in, and ran off with him to the barn, to 
show him to the children." 

At this moment, the door opened, and Mary, an 
honWt, rosy-looking girl, with large brown eyes, 
like her mother's, came in with the baby. 

" Ah ! ha !" said Rachel, coming up, and taking 
the great, white, fat fellow in her arms ; " how 
good he looks, and how he does grow !" 

" To be sure, he does," said little bustling Ruth, 
as she took the child, and began taking off a little 
blue silk hood, and various layers and wrappers of 
outer garments ; and having given a twitch here, 
and a pull there, and variously adjusted and ar- 
ranged him, and kissed him heartily, she set him 
on the floor to collect his thoughts. Baby seemed 
quite used to this mode of proceeding, for he put 
his thumb in his mouth (as if it were quite a thing 
of course), and seemed soon absorbed in his own 
reflections, while the mother seated herself, and 
taking out a lon^ stocking of mixed blue and white 
yarn, began to knit with briskness. 

" Mary, thee 'd better fill the kettle, hadn't 
thee ?" gently suggested the mother. 

Mary took the kettle to the well, and soon re- 
appearing, placed it over the stove, where it was 
soon purring and steaming, a sort of censer of 
hospitality and good cheer. The peaches, more- 
over, in obedience to a few gentle whispers from 
Rachel, were soon deposited, by the same hand, in 
a stew-pan over the fire. 

Rachel now took down a snowy moulding-board, 
and. tying on an apron, proceeded quietly to 
making up some biscuits, first saying to Mary, — 
" Mary, had n't thee better tell John to get a 
chicken ready?" and Mary disappeared accord- 
ingly. 

" And how is Abigail Peters?" said Rachel, as 
she went on with her biscuits. 

" O, she 's better," said Ruth ; " I was in, this 
morning; made the bed, tidied up the house. 
Leah Hills went in, this afternoon, and baked 
bread and pies enough to last some days, and I 
engaged to go back to get her up, this evening." 

" I will go in to-morrow, and do any cleaning 
there may be, and look over the mending," said 
Rachel. 

" Ah ! that is well," said Ruth. " I 've heard," 
she added, " that Hannah Stanwood is sick. John 
was up there, last "night ; — I must go there to- 
morrow." 

" John can come in here to his meals, if thee 
needs to stay all day," suggested^lachel. 

" Thank thee, Rachel ; we will see, to-morrow ; 
but, here comes Simeon." 

Simeon IIalliday,a tall, straight, muscular man, 
in drab coat and pantaloons, and broad-brimmed 
hat, now entered. 

" How is thee, Ruth?" he said, warmly, as he 
spread his broad open hand for her little fat palm ; 
" and how is John?" 

" ! John is well, and all the rest of our folks," 
said Ruth, cheerily. 

" Any news, father?" said Rachel, as she was 
putting her biscuits into the oven. 

" Peter Stebbins told me that they should be 
along to-night, with friends" said Simeon, sig- 
nificantly, as lie was washing his hands at a neat 
sink, in a little back pore!). 



"Indeed!" said Rachel, looking thoughtfully, 
and glancing at Eliza. 

"Did thee say thy name was Harris?" said 
Simeon to Eliza, as he reentered. 

Rachel glanced quickly at her husband, as Eliza 
tremulously answered " yes ;" her fears, ever up- 
permost, suggesting that possibly there might be 
advertisements out for her. 

" Mother !" said Simeon, standing in the porch, 
and calling Rachel out. 

" What does thee want, father?" said Rachel, 
rubbing her floury hands, as she went into the 
porch . 

" This child's husband is in the settlement, and 
will be here to-night," said Simeon. 

" Now, thee doesn't say that, father?" said 
Rachel, all her face radiant with joy. 

" It 's really true. Peter was down yesterday, 
with the wagon, to the other stand, and there he 
found an old woman and two men ; and one said 
his name was George Harris ; and, from what he 
told of his history, I am certain who he is. He 
is a bright, likely fellow, too." 

" Shall we tell her now?" said Simeon. 

"Let's tell Ruth," said Rachel. "Here, 
Ruth, — come here." 

Ruth laid down her knitting- work, and was in 
the back porch in a moment. 

" Ruth, what does thee think?" said Rachel. 
" Father says Eliza's husband is in the last corn- 
pan}-, and will be here to-night." 

A burst of joy from the little Quakeress in- 
terrupted the speech. She gave such a bound 
from the floor, as she clapped her little hands, 
that two stray curls fell from t under her Quaker 
cap, and lay brightly on her white neckerchief. 

"Hush thee, dear!" said Rachel, gently; 
" hush, Ruth ! Tell us, shall we tell her now?" 

" Now ! to be sure, — this very minute. Why, 
now, suppose 'twas my John, how should I feel? 
Do tell her, right off" 

" Thee uses thyself only to learn how to love 
thy neighbor, Ruth," said Simeon, looking, with 
a beaming face, on Ruth. 

" To be sure. Is n't it what we arc made for? 
If I did n't love John and the baby, I should not 
know how to feel for her. Come, now, do tell 
her, — do!" and she laid her hands persuasively 
on Rachel's arm. " Take her into thy bed-room, 
there, and let me fry the chicken while thee does 
it." 

Rachel came out into the kitchen, where 
Eliza was sewing, and opening the door of a small 
bed-room, said, gently, " Come in here with me, 
my daughter ; I have news to tell thee." 

The blood flushed in Eliza's pale face ; she rose, 
trembling with nervous anxiety, and looked to- 
wards her boy. 

" No, no," said little Ruth, darting up, and 
seizing her hands. " Never thee fear ; it 's good 
news, Eliza, — go in, go in!" And she gently 
pushed her to the door, which closed after her ; 
and then, turning round, she caught little Harry 
in her arms, and began kissing him. 

" Thee '11 see thy father, little one. Does thee 
know it? Thy father is coming," she said, over 
and over again, as the boy looked wonderingly at 
her. 

Meanwhile, within the door, another scene was 
going on. Rachel Halliday drew Eliza toward 
her, and said, "The Lord hath had mercy on 
thee, daughter ; thy husband hath escaped from 
the house of bondage. " 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



00 



The blood flushed to Eliza's cheek in a Biidden 
glow, and wen! back to her heart with as sudden 
•i rush. She sat down, pale and faint. 

"Have courage*, child," Baid Rachel, laying 
her hand on her head. " 11- is among friends, 
who will bring him here to-night." 

-night !" Eliza repeated, " to-night !" 
The words lost all meaning to herj her head 
was dreamy and confused; all was mist fox a 
moment. 

When she aw »ke, Bhe found herself Bnugly 
tucked up on the bed, with a blanket over her, 
ami little Ruth rubbing her hands with camphor. 
She opnvd her eyes in a state of dreamy, deli- 
cious languor, such as one has who 1ms long been 
bearing a heavy load, and now feels it gone, and 
would resr. The tension of the nerves, which 
had never ceased a moment since t!ie first hour of 
her flight, had given way, and a strange feeling 
of security and rest came over her; and, as Bhe 
lay. wit!i her large, dark eyes open, she followed, 
as in a quiet dream, the do itions of those al) >iit 
her. She Baw the door open into the other 
room ; saw the Bupper-table, with its snowy 
cloth ; heard the dreamy murmur of the sin<rin<r 
tea-kettle ; saw Ruth tripping backward and for- 
ward, with plates of cake and saucers of pre- 
serves, and ever and anon stopping to put a cake 
into Harry's hand, or pat his head, or twine his 
long curls r mud her snowy fingers. She saw the 
ample, motherly form of Rachel, as she ever and 
anon cam. 1 to tic 1 bed-side, and smoothed and ar- 
ranged s imething about the bed-clothes, and gave 
a tuck here and there, by way of expressing her 
g > i d-will ; and was conscious of a kind of sun- 
shine beaming down upon her from her large, 
clear, brown eyes. She saw Ruth's husband come 
in, — saw her fly up to him, and commence whis- 
pering very earnestly, ever and anon, with im- 
pressive gesture, pointing her little finger toward 
the room. She saw her, with the baby in her 
arms, sitting down to tea ; she saw them all at 
table, and little Harry in a high chair, under the 
shadow of Rachel's ample wing; there were low 
murmurs of talk, gentle tinkling of tea-spoons, 
and musical clatter of cups and saucers, and all 
mingled in a delightful dream of rest ; and Eliza 
slept, as she had not slept before, since the fear- 
ful midnight hour when she had taken her child 
and fled through the frosty star-light. 

She dreamed of a beautiful country, — a land, 
it seemed to her, of rest, — green shores, pleas- 
ant islands, and beautifully glittering water; and 
there, in a house which kind voices told her w T as 
a home, she saw her boy playing, a free and hap- 
py child. She heard her husband's footsteps ; 
she felt him coming nearer ; his arms were around 
her, his tears failing on her face, and she awoke ! 
It was no dream ! The daylight had long faded ; 
her child lay calmly sleeping by her side ; a can- 
dle was burning dimly on the stand, and her 
husband was sobbing by her pillow. 

The next morning was a cheerful one at the 
Quaker house. " Mother " w r as up betimes, and 
surrounded by busy girls and boys, whom we had 
scarce time to introduce to our readers yesterday, 
and who all moved obediently to Rachel's gentle 
" Thee had better," or more gentle " Hadn't thee 
better?" in the work of getting breakfast: for a 
breakfast in the luxurious valleys of Indiana is a 
thing complicated and multiform, and, like pick- 



ing up the rose-leaves and trimming the bushes 
in Paradise, asking other hands than those of the 
original mother. While, therefore , John ran to 
the spring for fresh water, and Simeon the sec- 
ond Ml'ted meal for corn-cakes, and Mary ground 
coffee, Rachel moved gently and quietly about, 
making biscuits, cutting up chicken, and diffus- 
ing B s >rt of sunny radiance over the whole pro- 
ceeding generally. If there was any dang^of 
friction or collision from the ill-regulated zeal of 
bo many young operators,- her gentle "Come! 
come!" or ,k 1 wouldn't, now," was quite suffi- 
cient to allay the difficulty. Bards have written 
of the cestus of Venus, that turned the heads of 
all the world in successive generations. We had 
rather, for our part, have the cestus of Rachel 
llalliday, that kept heads from being turned, and 
mad" everything go on harmoniously. \Yc think 
it is more suited to our modern days, decidedly. 

While all other preparations were going on, 
Simeon the elder stood in his shirt-sleeves before a 
little looking-glass in the corner, engaged in the 
anti-patriarchal operation of shaving. Every- 
thing went on 80 sociably, so quietly, so harmo- 
niously, in the great kitchen. — it seemed so 
pleasant to every one to do just what they were 
doing, there was such an atmosphere of mutual 
confidence and good fellowship everywhere, — 
even the knives and forks had a social clatter as 
they went on to the table ; and the chicken and 
ham had a cheerful and joyous fizzle in the pan, 
as if they rather enjoyed being cooked than other- 
wise ; — and when George and Eliza and little 
Harry came out, they met such a hearty, rejoic- 
ing welcome, no wonder it seemed to them like a 
dream. 

At last they were all seated at breakfast, while 
Mary stood at the stove, baking griddle-cakes, 
which, as they gained the true, exact golden-brown 
tint of perfection, were transferred quite handily 
to the table. 

Rachel never looked so truly and benignly hap- 
py as at the head of her table. There was so 
much motherliness and full-heartedness even in 
the way she passed a plate of cakes, or poured a 
cup of coffee, that it seemed to put a spirit into the 
food and drink she offered. 

It w r as the first time that ever George had sat 
down on equal terms at any white man's table ; 
and he sat down, at first, with some constraint 
and awduvardness ; but they all exhaled and went 
off like fog, in the genial morning rays of this 
simple, overflowing kindness. 

This, indeed, was a home, — home, — a word 
that George had never yet known a meaning for ; 
and a belief in God, and trust in his providence,- 
began to encircle his heart, as, with a golden 
cloud of protection and confidence, dark, misan- 
thropic, pining, atheistic doubts, and fierce de- 
spair, melted away before the light of a living 
Gospel, breathed in living faces, preached by a 
thousand unconscious acts of love and good will, 
wdiich, like the cup of cold water given in the 
name of a disciple, shall never lose their reward. 

" Father, what if thee should get found out 
again?" said Simeon second, as he buttered his 
cake. 

" I should pay my fine," said Simeon, quietly. 

" But what if they put thee in prison 2" 

" Could n't thee and mother manage the farm?" 
said Simeon, smiling. 

" Mother can do almost everything," said the 
toy. " But is n't it a shame to make such laws' 1 " 



56 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN .* OR, 



" Thee mustn't speak evil of thy rulers, Sim- 
eon," said his father, gravely. " The Lord only 
gives us our worldly goods that we may do justice 
and mercy ; if our rulers require a price of us for 
it, we must deliver it up." 

"Well, I hate those old slaveholders!" said 
the boy, who felt as unchristian as became any 
modern reformer. 

" I am surprised at thee, son," said Simeon ; 
" thy mother never taught thee so. I would do 
even the same for the slaveholder as for the slave, 
if the Lord brought him to my door in affliction. " 

Simeon second blushed scarlet ; but his mother 
only smiled, and said, " Simeon is my good boy ; 
he will grow older, by and by, and then he will 
be like his father." 

" I hope, my good sir, that you are not exposed 
to any difficult on our account," said George, 
anxiously. 

" Fear nothing, George, for therefore are we 
sent into the world. If we would not meet trouble 
for a good cause, we were not worthy of our 
name." 

" But, for me," said George, " I could not bear 
it." 

" Fear not, then, friend George ; it is not for 
thee, but for God and man, we do it," said Sim- 
eon. "And now thou must lie by quietly this 
day, and to-night, at ten o'clock, Phineas Fletch- 
er will carry thee onward to the next stand, — 
thee and the rest of thy company. The pursu- 
ers are hard after thee ; Ave must not delay." 

" If that is the case, Why wait till evening?" 
gaid George. 

" Thou art safe here by daylight, for every one 
in the settlement is a Friend, and all are watch- 
ing. It has been found safer to travel by night." 



v V CHAPTER XIV. 

^ EVANGELINE. 

*' A young star! which shone 
O'er life — too sweet an image for such glass! 
A lovely being, scarcely formed or moulded ; 
A rose with all its sweetest leaves yet folded." 

The Mississippi ! How, as by an enchanted 
wand, have its scenes been changed, since Cha- 
teaubriand wrote his prose-poetic description of 
it, as a river of mighty, unbroken solitudes, roll- 
ing amid undreamed wonders of vegetable and 
animal existence. 

But, as in an hour, this river of dreams and 
wild romance has emerged to a reality scarcely 
less visionary and splendid. What other river of 
the world bears on its bosom to the ocean the 
wealth and enterprise of such another country ? 
— a country whose products embrace all between 
the tropics and the poles ! Those turbid waters, 
hurrying, foaming, tearing along, an apt resem- 
blance of that headlong tide of business which is 
poured along its wave by a race more vehement 
and energetic than any the old world ever saw. 
Ah ! would that they did not also bear along a 
more fearful freight, — the tears of the oppressed, 
the sighs of the helpless, the bitter prayers of 
poor, ignorant hearts to an unknown God — un- 
known, unseen and silent, but who will yet 
" come out of his place to save all the poor of 
^ihe earth ! ' ' 

The slanting light of the setting sun quivers on 



the sea-like expanse of the river ; the shivery- 
canes, and the tall, dark cypress, hung with 
wreaths of dark, funereal moss, glow in the gold- 
en ray, as the heavily-laden steamboat marches 
onward. 

Piled with cotton-bales, from many a planta- 
tion, up over deck and sides, till she seems in the 
distance a square, massive block of gray, she 
moves heavily onward to the nearing mart. We 
must look some time among its crowded decks 
before we shall find again our humble friend Tom. 
High on the upper deck, in a little nook among 
the everywhere predominant cotton-bales, at last 
we may find him. 

Partly from confidence inspired by Mr. Shelby's 
representations, and partly from the remarkably 
inoffensive and quiet character of the man, Tom 
had insensibly won his way far into the confi- 
dence even of such a man as Haley. 

At first he had watched him narrowly through 
the day, and never allowed him to sleep at night 
unfettered ; but the uncomplaining patience and 
apparent contentment of Tom's manner led him 
to discontinue these restraints, and for some time 
Tom had enjoyed a sort of parole of honor, being 
permitted to come and go freely where he pleased 
on the boat. 

Ever quiet and obliging, and more than ready 
to lend a hand in every emergency which occurred 
among the workmen below, he had won the good 
opinion of all the hands, and spent many hours 
in helping them with as hearty a good will as 
ever he worked on a Kentucky farm. 

When there seemed to be nothing for him to do, 
he would climb to a nook among the cotton-bales 
of the upper deck, and busy himself in studying 
over his Bible, — and it is there we see him now. 

For a hundred or more miles above New Or- 
leans, the river is higher than the surrounding; 
countiw, and rolls its tremendous volume between 
massive levees twenty feet in height. The trav- 
eller from the deck of the steamer, as from some 
floating castle top, overlooks the whole country 
for miles and miles around. Tom, therefore, had 
spread out full before him, in plantation after 
plantation, a map of the life to which he was 
approaching. 

He saw the distant slaves at their toil ; he saw 
afar their villages of huts gleaming out in long 
rows on many a plantation, distant from the 
stately mansions and pleasure-grounds of the 
master ; — and as the moving picture passed on, 
his poor foolish heart would be turning backward 
to the Kentucky farm, with its old shadowy 
beeches, — to the master's house, with its wide, 
cool halls, and, near by, the little cabin, over- 
grown with the multi flora and bignonia. There 
he seemed to see familiar faces of comrades, who 
had grown up with him from infa'ney ; he saw his 
busy wife, bustling in her preparations for his 
evening meals ; he heard the merry laugh of his 
boys at their play, and the chirrup of the baby at 
his knee; and then, with a start, all faded, and 
he saw again the cane-brakes and cypresses and 
gliding plantations, and heard again the creaking 
and groaning of the machinery, all telling him 
too plainly that all that phase of life had gone by 
forever. 

In such a case, you write to your wife, and 
send messages to your children ; but Tom could 
not write, — the mail for him had no existence, 
and the gulf of separation was unbridged by even 
a friendly word or signal. 



LIFE AMOJJG THE LOWLY. 



57 



Ts it strange, then, that some tears fall on the 
pages of his Bible, as lu> lavs it on the cotton- 
bale, and, with patient finger, threading his 
slow way from word to word, traces out its prom- 
is si Saving learned late in life, Tom was but 
a slow reader, and passed on laboriously from 
vers 1 to verse. Fortunate for him was it that the 
book h<> was intent on was one which slow read- 
ing cannot injure, — nay, one whose words, like 
ingots of gold, seem often to need to he weighed 
separately, that the mind may take in theirprice- 
less value. Let as follow him a moment, as, 
pointingto each word, and pronouncing each half 
aloud, he reads, 

" Let — not — your — heart — be — troubled. 
In — my — Father's — house — are — many — 
mansions. I — go — to — prepare — a — place 
— for — you." 

Cicero, when he buried his darling and only 
daughter, had a heart as full of honest grief as 
poor Tom's. — perhaps no fuller, for both were 
only men ; — but Cicero could pause ovemosuch 
sublime words of hope, and look to no such future 
reunion ; and if he had seen them, ten to one he 
would not have believed, — he must fill his head 
first with a thousand questions of authenticity of 
manuscript, and correctness of translation. But, 
to p > or Tom, there it lay, just what he needed, so 
evidently true and divine that the possibility of a 
question never entered his simple head. It must 
he true ; for, if not true, how could he live ? 

As for Tom's Bible, though it had no annota- 
tions and helps in margin from learned commen- 
tators, still it had been embellished with certain 
way-marks and guide-hoards of Tom's own inven- 
tion, and which helped him more than the most 
learned expositions could have done. It had been 
his custom to get the Bihle read to him by his 
master's children, in particular by young Master 
George ; and as they read, he would designate by 
bold, strong marks and dashes, with pen and ink, 
the passages which more particularly gratified his 
ear or affected his heart. His Bible was thus 
marked through, from one end to the other, with 
a variety of styles and designations ; so he could 
in a moment seize upon his favorite passages, 
without the labor of spelling out what lay be- 
tween them ; — and while it lay there before 
him, every passage breathing of some old home 
scene, and recalling some past enjoyment, his 
Bible seemed to him all of this life that remained, 
as well as the promise of a future one. 

Among the passengers on the boat was a young 
gentleman of fortune and family, resident in New 
Orleans, who bore the name of St. Clare. He had 
with him a daughter between five and six years 
of age, together with a lady who seemed to claim 
relationship to both, and to have the little one 
especially under her charge. 

_ Tom had often caught glimpses of this little 
girl, — for she was one of those busy, tripping 
creatures, that can be no more contained in one 
place than a sunbeam or a summer breeze, — nor 
was she one that, once seen, could be easily for- 
gotten. 

Her form was the perfection of childish beauty, 
without its usual chubbiness and squareness of 
outline. There was about it an undulating and 
aerial grace, such as one might dream of for some 
mythic and allegorical being. Her face was 
remarkable less for its perfect beauty of feature 
than for a singular and dreamy earnestness of 
expression, which made the ideal start when they 



looked at her, and by which the dullest and most 
literal were impressed, without exactly knowing 
why. The shape of her head and the turn of 
her neck and bust were peculiarly noble, and the 
long golden-brown hair that floated like a (loud 
around it, the deep spiritual gravity of her violet- 
blue eyes, shaded by heavy fringes of golden 
brown, — all marked her out from other children, 
and made every one turn to look after her, as she 
glided hither and thither on the boat. Neverthe- 
less, the little one was not what you would have 
called either a grave child or a sad one. On the 
contrary, an airy and innocent playfulness seemed 
to flicker like the shadow of summer leaves over 
her childish face, and around her buoyant figure. 
She was always in motion, always with a half 
smile on her rosy mouth, flying hither and thither, 
with an undulating and cloud-like tread, singing 
to herself as she moved, as in a happy dream. 
Her father and female guardian were incessantly 
busy in pursuit of her, — but, when caught, she 
melted from them again like a summer cloud , and 
as no word of chiding or reproof ever fell on her 
ear for whatever she chose to do, she pursued 
her own way all over the boat. Always dressed 
in white, she seemed to move like a shadow 
through all sorts of places, without contracting 
spot or stain ; and there was not a corner or nook, 
above or below, where those fairy footsteps had 
not glided, and that visionary golden head, with 
its deep blue eyes, fleeted along. 

The fireman, as he looked up from his sweaty 
toil, sometimes found those eyes looking wondcr- 
ingly into the raging depths of the furnace, and 
fearfully and pityingly at him, as if she thought 
him in some dreadful clanger. Anon the, steers- 
man at the wheel paused and smiled, as the 
picture-like head gleamed through the window of 
the round-house, and in a moment was gone 
again. A thousand times a day rough voices 
blessed her, and smiles of unwonted softness stole 
over hard faces, as she passed ; and when she 
tripped fearlessly over dangerous places, rough 
sooty hands were stretched involuntarily out to 
save her, and smooth her path. 

Tom, who had the soft, impressible nature of his 
kindly race, ever yearning toward the simple ai.d 
childlike, watched the little creature with daily 
increasing interest. To him she seemed some- 
thing almost divine ; and whenever her golden 
head and deep blue eyes peered out upon him 
from behind some dusky cotton-bale, or looked 
down upon him over some ridge of packages, he 
half believed that he saw one of the angola 
stepped out of his New Testament. 

Often and often she walked mournfully round 
the place where Haley's gang of men and women 
sat in their chains. She would glide in among 
them, and look at them with an air of perplexed 
and sorrowful earnestness ; and sometimes she 
would lift their chains with her slender hands, 
and then sigh wofully, as she glided away. 
Several times she appeared suddenly among them, 
with her hands full of candy, nuts, and oranges, 
which she would distribute joyfully to them, and 
then be gone again. 

Tom watched the little lady a great deal, 
before he ventured on any overtures towards 
acquaintanceship. He knew an abundance of 
simple acts to propitiate and invite the ap- 
proaches of the little people, and he resolved to 
play his part right skilfully. Ho could cut cun- 
ning little baskets out of cherry-stones, could 



58 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR, 



make grotesque faces on hickory-nuts, or odd- 
jumping figures out of elder-pith, and he was a 
very Pan in the manufacture of whistles of all 
sizes and sorts. His pockets were full of miscel- 
laneous articles of attraction, which he had 
hoarded in days of old for his master's children, 
and which he now produced, with commendable 
prudence and economy, one by one, as overtures 
for acquaintance and friendship. 

The little one was shy, for all her busy inter- 
est in everything going on, and it Avas not easy to 
tame her. For a while, she would perch like a 
canary-bird on some box or package near Tom, 
while busy in the little arts afore-named, and 
take from him, with a kind of grave bashfulness, 
the little articles he offered. But at last they got 
on quite confidential terms. 

" What 's little missy's name?'' said Tom, at 
last, when he thought matters were ripe to push 
such an inquiry. 

" Evangeline St. Clare," said the little one, 
" though papa and everybody else call me Eva. 
Now, what 's your name?" 

" My name 's Tom : the little chil'en used to 
call me Uncle Tom, way back thai* in Kcntuck." 

" Then I mean to call you Uncle Tom, because, 
you see, I like you," said Eva. " So, Uncle Tom, 
where are you going?" 

" I don't know, Miss Eva." 

"Don't know?" said Eva. 

" No. I am going to be sold to somebody. I 
don't know who." 

"My papa can buy you," said Eva, quickly; 
" and if he buys 3*011, you will have good times. 
I mean to ask him to, this very day." 

" Thank you, my little lady," said Tom. 

The boat here stopped at a small landing to 
take in wood, and Eva, hearing her father's voice, 
bounded nimbly away. Tom rose up, and went 
forward to offa- his service in wooding, and soon 
was busy among the hands. 

Eva and her father were standing together by 
the railings, to see the boat start from the land- 
ing-place. The wheel had made two or three 
revolutions in the water, when, by some sudden 
movement, the little one suddenly lost her bal- 
ance, and fell sheer over the side of the boat into 
the water. Her father, scarce knowing what lie 
did, was plunging in after her, but was held 
back by some behind him, who saw that more 
eflieient aid had followed his child. 

Tom was standing just under her. on the lower 
deck, as she fell. He saw her strike the water 
and sink, and Avas after her in a moment. A 
broad-chested, strong-armed felloAV, it was noth- 
ing for him to keep afloat in the water, till, in a 
moment or two, the child rose to the surface, and 
he caught her in his arms, and, swimming with 
her to the boat-side, handed her up, all dripping, 
to the grasp of hundreds of hands, Avhich, as if 
they had all belonged to one man, Avere stretched 
eagerly out to receive her. A feAv moments more, 
and her father bore her, dripping and senseless, 
to the ladies' cabin, Avhere, as is usual in cases 
of the kind, there ensued a very Avell-meaning 
and kind-hearted strife anions the female occu- 
pants generally, as to Avho should do the most 
things to make a disturbance, and to hinder her 
recovery in every Avay possible. 

It Avas a sultry, close day, the next day, as the 
steamer drew near to NeAv Orleans. A general 



bustle of expectation and preparation Avas spread 
through the boat ; in the cabin, one and another 
were gathering their things together, and arrang- 
ing them, preparatory to going ashore. The 
steward and chambermaid, and all, Avere busily 
engaged in cleansing, furbishing, and arranging 
the splendid boat, preparatory to a grand entree. 

On the loAver deck sat our friend Tom, with 
his arms folded, and anxiously, from time to 
time, turning his eyes toAvards a group on the 
other side of the boat. 

There stood the fair Evangeline, a little paler 
than the day before, but otherwise exhibiting no 
traces of the accident Avhich had befallen her. A 
graceful, elegantly-formed young man stood by 
her, carelessly leaning one elbow on a bale of 
cotton, Avhile a large pocket-book lay open before 
him. It Avas quite evident, at a glance, that the 
gentleman Avas Eva's father. There Avas the 
same noble cast of head, the same large blue 
eyes, the same golden-brown hair ; yet the ex- 
pression was Avholly different. In the large, 
clear blue eyes, though in form and color exactly 
similar, there was wanting that misty, dreamy 
depth of expression ; all was clear, bold, and 
bright, but with a light wholly of this world : 
the beautifully cut mouth had a proud and somc- 
Avhat sarcastic expression, while an air of free- 
and-easy superiority sat not ungracefully in every 
turn mid inoA r ement of his fine form, lie Avas 
listening, Avith a good-humored, negligent air, 
half comic, half contemptuous, to Haley, who 
Avas very volubly expatiating on the quality of 
the article for Avhich they Avere bargaining. 

" All the moral and Christian virtues bound in 
black morocco, complete !" he said when Haley 
had finished. " Well, uoav, my good fellow, 
what 's the damage, as they say in Kentucky ; in 
short, what 's to be paid out for this business 1 
How much are you going to cheat me, noAv ? Out 
with it!" 

" Wal," said Haley, " if I should say thirteen 
hundred dollars for that ar felloAV, I shouldn't 
but just save myself; I should n't uoav, re'ly." 

" Poor felloAV !" said the young man, fixing his 
keen, mocking, blue eye on him ; " but I suppose 
you 'd let mo have him for that, out of a particu- 
lar regard for me." 

" Well, the young lady here seems to be sot on 
him, and nat'lly enough." 

" ! certainly, there 's a call on your benevo- 
lence, my friend. Now, as a matter of Christian 
charity, how cheap could you afford to let him 
go, to oblige a young lady that 's particular sot 
on him?" 

" Wal, noAv, just think on 't," said the trader; 
"just look at them limbs, — broad-chested, strong 
as a horse. Look at his head ; them high forrads 
allays shows calculatin niggers, that : ll do any 
kind 0' thing. I 've marked that ar. Now, a 
nijrg:erof that ar heft and build is worth consider- 
able, just, as you may say, for his body, supposin 
he 's stupid ; but come to put in his calculatin 
faculties, and them Avhich I can show he has 
oncommon, Avhy, of course, it makes him come 
higher. Why, that ar felloAV managed his mas- 
ter's Avhole farm. He has a strornary talent for 
business." 

'-Bad, bad, very bad; knows altogether too 
much!" said the young man, Avith the ,same 
mocking smile playing about his mouth. " Never 
will do, in the Avorld. Your smart felloAvrc are 



LIFE A Mi 'Nil Till-: LOWLY. 



59 



always running off, Btealing horses, and raising 
i'\il generally. I think you '11 have to take 
oil' a c tuple of hundred for his smartness.* 1 

11 Waf, there might be s iinething in that ar, if 
ml for his character ; but I can Bhow recom- 
mends from liis master and others, tt) prove he is 
of your real pious, — the most humble, pray- 
in, pi us crittur ye ever <li<l see. Why, he's 
been called a preacher in ttiem parts he came 
from." 

•• \-.il I mi l.lra for a family chaplain, 

jibly," added the young map, dryly. " That 's 
quite an idea. Religion is a remarkably s< 
article at our ' n - -." 

•• You 'r _•. now." 

■• How d > you know T am ! Did n't y >u just 
warrant him for a preacher 1 Elas he b in ex- 
amined by any Bynpd or i uncil? Come, hand 
over y »ur pa] 

It* the trader had not been sure, by a cm-tain 
l-humored twinkle in the large blue eye, that 
all this banter was Bure, in the 1 >ng run, to turn 
out a cash concern, he might have been somewhat 
out of patience ; as it was. he laid d >wn a g] 
pocket-book on the c 'it m-bal is, and began anx- 
iously studying • rtain papers in it, the 
young man standing by, the while, 1 > iking d 
on him with an air of careles . drollery. 

•• Papa, do buy him ! it *s no matter what you 
pay,"' whispered Eva, softly, getting up on a 
package, and putting her arm ar >und her father's 
neck. " Fou have m in sy < n lugh, I know. I 
want him." 

" What for, pUS ' \l*C YOU going tO USO him 

for a rattle-box, or a rocking-h irs \ or what?" 
4i I want to make him happy." 
" An original reas in, cert tinly." 

Here the trader handed up a certificate, signed 
by Mr. Shelby, which the young man took with 

the tins of his long fingers, and glanced over 

carelessly. 

" A gentlemanly hand," he said, " and well 
spelt, too. Well, now, but I'm not sure, after 
all, about this religion," said he, the old wicked 
expression returning to his eye ; " the country is 
almost mined with pious white people : such 
pious politicians as we have just before elections, 
— such pious goings on in all departments of 
church and state, that a fellow does not know 
who '11 cheat him next. I don't know, either, 
about religion's being up in the market, just now. 
I have not looked in tiie papers lately, to see 
how it sells. How many hundred dollars, now, 
do you put on for this religion?" 

" You like to be a jokin, now," said the trader ; 
"but, then, there's sense under all that ar. I 
know there 's differences in religion. .Some kinds 
is mis'rable : there 's your rneetin pious ; there 's 
your singin, roarin pious ; them ar an't no ac- 
count, in black or white ; — but these rayly is ; 
and I 've seen it in niggers as often as any, your 
rail softly, quiet, stiddy, honest, pious, that the 
hull world couldn't tempt 'em to do nothing that 
they thinks is wrong ; and ye see in this letter 
what Tom's old master says about him." 

" Now," said the young man, stooping gravely 
over his book of bills, " if you can assure me that 
I really can buy this kind of pious, and that it 
will be set down to my account in the book up 
above, as something belonging to me, I wouldn't 
care if I did go a little extra for it. How d/ ye 
say ? ' ' 

li Wal, rally, I can't do that," said the trader. 



" I 'in a thinkin- that every man '11 have to hang 
on his own hook, in them ar quarters." 

" Rather hard on a fellow that pays extra on 
religion, and can't trade with it in the state 
where he wants it most, an't it, now?" said the 
young man, who had been making out a roll of 
bills while he was speaking. " There, count 
your money, old boy! " he added, as ho handed 
the r '11 to the trader. 

•• All right," said Haley, his face beaming with 
delight ; and pulling out an old inkhorn. he pro- 
sd to (ill out a bill of sale, which, in a few 
moments, he handled to the young man. 

" I wonder, now. if ['was divided up and in- 
ventoried," siid the latter, as he ran over the 
paper, " how much 1 might bring." Say so much 
for the shape of my head, sq much for a high 
forehead, SO much for arms, and hands, and legs, 
ami then so much for education, learning, talent, 
honesty, religion! lUcss me! there would be 
small charge on that last. I'm thinking. But 
C 'in >. Eva," he said ; and taking the hand of his 
daughter, he stepped across the boat, and care- 
lessly putting the tip of his linger under Tom's 
chin, said, good-humoredly, " Look up, Tom, and 
s • • how you like your new master." 

Tom looked up. It -was not in nature to look 
mi > that gay, young, handsome face, without a 
feeling of pleasure ; and Tom felt the tears start 
in his eves as he said, heartily, " Clod bless you, 
Mas'r !" 

" Well, I hope he will. What 's your name ? 
Tom ? Quite as likely to do it for your asking as 
mine, from all accounts. Can you drive horses, 
Tom?" 

" I 've been allays used to horses," said Tom. 
" Mas'r Shelby raised heaps on 'cm." 

" Well, I think I shall put you in coachy, on 
condition that you won't be drunk more than 
once a week, unless in cases of emergency, 
Tom." 

Tom looked surprised, and rather hurt, and 
said, " I never drink, Mas'r." 

" I 've heard that story before, Tom ; but then 
we '11 see. It will be a special accommodation to 
all concerned, if you don't. Never mind, my 
boy," he added, good-humoredly, seeing Tom. 
still looked grave ; " I don't doubt you mean to 
do well." 

" I sartin do, Mas'r," said Tom. 

" And you shall have good times," said Eva. 
" Papa is very good to everybody, only he always 
will laugh at them." 

" Papa is much obliged to you for his recom- 
mendation," said St. Clare, laughing, as he 
turned on his heel and walked away. 



CHAPTER XV. 

OF TOM'S NEW MASTER, AND VARIOUS OTHER MAT- 
TERS. 

Since the thread of our humble hero's life has 
now become interwoven with that of higher ones, 
it is necessary to give some brief introduction to 
them. 

Augustine St. Clare was the son of a wealthy 
planter of Louisiana. The family had its origin 
in Canada. Of two brothers, >ory similar in 
temperament and character, one had settled on a 
flourishing farm in Vermont, and the other became 
an opulent planter in Louisiana. The mother of 



GO 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR, 



Augustine was a Huguenot French lady, whose 
family had emigrated to Louisiana during the 
days of its 6arly settlement, xlugustine and 
another brother were the only children of their 
parents. Having inherited from his mother an 
exceeding delicacy of constitution, he was, at the 
instance of physicians, during many years of his 
boyhood, sent to the care of his uncle in Ver- 
mont, in order that his constitution might be 
strengthened by the cold of a more bracing cli- 
mate. 

In childhood, he was remarkable for an extreme 
and marked sensitiveness of character, more akin 
to the softness of woman than the ordinary hard- 
ness of his own sex. Time, however, overgrew 
thi-s softness with the rough bark of manhood, 
and but few knew how living and fresh it still 
lay at the core. His talents were of the very first 
order, although his mind showed a preference 
always for the ideal and the aesthetic, and there 
was about him that repugnance to the actual 
business of life which is the common result of 
this balance of the faculties. Soon after the 
completion of his college course, his whole nature 
was 'kindled into one intense and passionate effer- 
vescence of romantic passion. His hour came, — 
the hour that comes only once ; his star rose in 
the horizon, — that star that rises so often in 
vain, to be remembered only as a thing of dreams ; 
and it rose for him in vain. To drop the figure, 
— he saw and won the love of a high-minded and 
beautiful woman, in one of the northern states, 
and they were affianced. He returned south to 
make arrangements for their marriage, when, 
most unexpectedly, his letters were returned to 
him by mail, with a short note from her guardian, 
stating to him that ere this reached him the lady 
would bo the wife of another. Stung to madness, 
he vainly hoped, as many another has done, to 
fling the whole thing from his heart by one des- 
perate effort. Too proud to supplicate or seek 
explanation, ho threw himself at once into a 
whirl of fashionable society, and in a fortnight 
from the time of the fatal letter was the accepted 
lover of the reigning belle of the season ; and as 
soon as arrangements could be made, he became 
the husband of a fine figure, a pair of bright dark 
eyes, and a hundred thousand dollars ; and, of 
course, everybody thought him a happy fellow. 

The married couple were enjoying their honey- 
moon, and entertaining a brilliant circle of friends 
in their splendid villa, near Lake Pontchartrain, 
when, one day, a letter was brought to him in 
that well -remembered writing. It was handed to 
him while he was in full tide of gay and success- 
ful conversation, in a whole room-full of company. 
He turned deadly pale when he saw the writing, 
but still preserved his composure, and finished 
• the playful warfare of badinage which he was at 
the moment carrying on with a lady opposite ; 
and, a short time after, was missed from the cir- 
cle. In his room, alone, he opened and read the 
letter, now worse than idle and useless to be 
read. It was from her, giving a long account of 
a persecution to which she had been exposed by 
her guardian's family, to lead her to unite her- 
self with their son ; and she related how, for a 
long time, his letters had ceased to arrive ; how 
she had written time and again, till she became 
weary and doubtful ; how her health had failed 
under her anxieties, and how, at last, she had 
discovered the whole fraud which had been prac- 
tised on them both. The letter ended with 



expressions of hope and thankfulness, and pro- 
fessions of undying affection, whioli were more 
bitter than death to the unhappy young man. 
He wrote to her immediately : 

" I have received yours, — but too late. I be- 
lieved all I heard. I was desperate. I am mar- 
ried, and all is over. Only forget, — it is all that 
remains for either of us." 

And thus ended the whole romance and ideal 
of life for Augustine St. Clare. But the real 
remained, — the real, like the flat, bare, oozy tide- 
mud, when the blue sparkling wave, with all its 
company of gliding boats and white-winged ships, 
its music of oars and chiming waters, has gone 
down, and there it lies, flat, slimy, bare, — ex- 
ceedingly real. .* 

Of course, in a novel, people's hearts break, 
and they die, and that is the end of it ; and in a 
story this is very convenient. But in real life 
we do not die when all that makes life bright 
dies to us. There is a most busy and important 
round of eating, drinking, dressing, walking, vis- 
iting, buying, selling, talking, reading, and all 
that makes up what is commonly called living, 
yet to be gone through ; and this yet remained to 
Augustine. Had his wife been a whole woman, 
she might yet have done something — as woman 
can — to mend the broken threads of life, and 
weave again into a tissue of brightness. But 
Marie St. Clare could not even see that they had 
been broken. As before stated, she consisted of 
a fine figure, a pair of splendid eyes, and a hun- 
dred thousand dollars ; and none of these items 
were precisely the ones to minister to a mind 
diseased. 

When Augustine, pale as death, was found 
lying on the sofa, and pleaded sudden sick-head- 
ache as the cause of his distress, she recommended 
to him to smell of hartshorn ; and when the pale- 
ness and headache came on week after week, she 
only said that she never thought Mr. St. Clare 
was sickly ; but it seems he was very liable to 
sick-headaches, and that it was a very unfortu- 
nate thing for her, because he didn't enjoy going 
into company with her, and it seemed odd to go 
so much alone, when they were just married. 
Augustine was glad in his heart that he had 
married so undiscerning a woman ; but as the 
glosses and civilities of the honeymoon wore 
away, he discovered that a beautiful young wo- 
man, who has lived all her life to be caressed and 
waited on, might prove quite a hard mistress in 
domestic life. Marie never had possessed much 
capability of affection, or much sensibility, and 
the little that she had, had been merged into a 
most intense and unconscious selfishness ; a sel- 
fishness the more hopeless, from its quiet obtuse- 
ness, its utter ignorance of any claims but her 
own. From her infancy, she had been surrounded 
with servants, who lived only to study her ca- 
prices ; the idea that they had either feelings or 
rights had never dawned upon her, even in dis- 
tant perspective. Her father, whose only child 
she had been, had never denied her anything 
that lay within the compass of human possibil- 
ity ; and when she entered life, beautiful, accom- 
plished, and an heiress, she had, of course, all the 
eligibles and non-eligibles of the other sex sigh- 
ing at her feet, and she had no doubt that Augus- 
tine was a most fortunate man in having obtained 
hei*. It is a great mistake to suppose that a 
woman with no heart will bo an easy creditor in 
the exchange of affection. There is not on earth 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



01 



a more merciless exactor of love from others than 
a thoroughly selfish woman; tiiul the more un- 
lovely she grows, the more jealously and scrupu- 
lously Bhe exacts love, to the e*£ermost farthing. 
When, therefore, St. Clare began to drop off those 
gallantries and small attentions which flowed at 
firsl i tin* habitude of courtship, be found 

hi* sultana no way ready to resign her slave ; 
there were abundance of tears, poutings, and 
small tempests, there were discontents, pinings, 
upbraidings. St. Clare was good-natured and 
self-indulgent, and sought to buy off with pres- 
ents and tl irt Ti i s ; and when Marie became mo- 
ther to a beautiful daughter, he really felt awak- 
ened, foi a time, to something like tenderness. 

St. Clare'a m >ther had been a woman of un- 
common elevation and purity of character, and he 
gave to this child Ids mother's name, fondly fan- 
cying that she would prove a reproduction of her 
image. 5Piie thing had been remarked with petu- 
lant jealousy by his wife, and she regarded her 
husband's absorbing devotion to the child with 
suspicion and disljike ; all that was given to her 
se«iied s > much taken from herself. From the 
tini* of the birth of this child, her health gradu- 
ally sunk. A life of constant inaction, Bodily 
and mental, — the friction of ceaseless ennui and 
discontent, united to the ordinary weakness 
which attended the period of maternity, — in 
<^Wse of a few 3-ears changed the blooming 
young belle into a yellow, faded, sickly woman, 
whose time w r as divided among a variety of fan- 
ciful diseases, and who considered herself, in 
ever)" sense, the most ill-used and suffering per- 
son in existence. 

There was no end of her various complaints ; 
but her principal forte appeared to lie in sick- 
headache, which sometimes would confine her to 
her mem three days out of six. As, of course, 
all family arrangements fell into the hands of 
servants, St. Clare found his menage anything 
but comfortable. His only daughter was exceed- 
ingly delicate, and he feared that, with no one to 
1« >k s,fter her and attend to her, her health and 
life might yet fall a sacrifice to her mother's in- 
efficiency. He had taken her with him on a tour 
to Vermont, and had persuaded his cousin, Miss 
Ophelia St. Clare, to return with him to his 
southern residence ; and they are now returning 
on this boat, where w T e have introduced them to 
our readers. 

And now, while the distant domes and spires 
of New r Orleans rise to our view, there is yet time 
for an introduction to Miss Ophelia. 

Whoever has travelled in the New England 
States will remember, in some cool village, the 
large farm-house, with its clean-sw r ept grassy 
yard, shaded by the dense and massive foliage of 
the sugar-maple ; and remember the air of order 
and stillness, of perpetuity and unchanging re- 
pose, that seemed to breathe over the whole place. 
Nothing lost, or out of order ; not a picket loose 
in the fence, not a particle of litter in the turfy 
yard, with its clumps of lilac-bushes growing up 
under the windows. Within, he will remember 
wide, clean rooms, where nothing ever seems to 
be doing or going to be done, where everything is 
once and forever rigidly in place, and where all 
household arrangements move with the punctual 
exactness of the old clock in the corner. In the 
family " keeping-room," as it is termed, he will 
remember the staid, respectable old book-case, 
with its glass doors, wmere Rollin's History, 



Milton's Paradise Lost, Bunyan's Pilgrim's Pro- 
gress, and Scott's Family Bible, stand side by 
side in decorous order, with multitudes of other 
books, equally solemn and respectable There 
arc nq servants in the house, but the lady in the 
snowy cap, with the spectacles, who sitf* sewing 
every afternoon among her daughters, as if noth- 
ing ever bad been done, or were to be done,— 
she and her girls, in some long-forgotten fore 
part of the day, " did vj> the work" and for the 
rest of the time, probably, at all hours wdien you 
would see them, it is "clone ?//>." The old 
kitchen floor never seems stained or spotted ; the 
tables, the chairs, and the various cooking uten- 
sils, never seem deranged or disordered; though 
three and sometimes four meals a day are got 
there, though the* family washing and ironing is 
there performed, and though pounds of bntjter 
and cheese are in some silent and mysterious 
manner there brought into existence. 

On such a farm, in such a house and family, 
Miss Ophelia had spent a quiet existence of some 
forty-five years, when her cousin invited her to 
visit his southern mansion. The eldest of a large 
family, she was still considered by her father 
and mother as one of " the children," and the 
proposal that she should go to Orleans was a most 
momentous one to the family circle. The old 
gray-headed father took down Morse's Atlas out 
of the book-case, and looked out the exact lati- 
tude and longitude ; and read Flint's Travels in 
the South and West, to make up his own mind as 
to the nature of the country. 

The good mother inquired, anxiously, "if Or- 
leans wasn't an awful wicked place," saying, 
that " it seemed to her most equal to going to 
the Sandwich Islands, or anywhere among the 
heathen." 

It was known at the minister's, and at the 
doctor's, and at Miss Peabody's milliner shop, 
that OpCieMa St. Ciare was " talking about" go- 
ing away dowm to Orleans with her cousin; and 
of course the whole village could do no less than 
help this very important process of talking about 
the matter. The minister, who inclined strongly 
to abolitionist views, was quite doubtful whether 
such a step might not tend somewhat to encour- 
age the southerners in holding on to their slaves ; 
while the doctor, who was a stanch colonization- 
ist, inclined to the opinion that Miss Ophelia 
ought to go, to show the Orleans people that we 
don't think hardly of them, after all. He was of 
opinion, in fact, that southern people needed en- 
couraging. When, however, the fact that she 
had resolved to go was fully before the public 
mind, she was solemnly invited out to tea by all 
her friends and neighbors for the space of a fort- 
night, and her prospects and plans duly canvassed 
and inquired into. Miss MOseley. who came into 
the house to help to do the dress-making, ac- 
quired daily accessions of importance from the 
developments w T ith regard to Miss Ophelia's 
wardrobe which she had been enabled to make. 
It was credibly ascertained that Squire Sinclare, 
as his name was commonly contracted in the 
neighborhood, had counted out fifty dollars, and 
given them to Miss Ophelia, and told her to buy 
any clothes she thought best ; and that two new 
silk dresses, and a bonnet, had been sent for from 
Boston. As to the propriety of this extraordi- 
nary outlay, the public mind was divided, — some 
affirming that it was well enough, all things con- 
sidered, for once in one's life, and others stoutly 



62 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR, 



affirming that the money had better have been 
sent to the missionaries ; but all parties agreed 
that there had been no such parasol seen in those 
parts as had been sent on from New York, and 
that she had one silk dress that might fairly be 
trusted to stand alone, whatever might be said of 
its mistress. There were credible rumors, also, 
of a hemstitched pocket-handkerchief; and re- 
port even went so far as to state that Miss Ophe- 
lia had one pocket-handkerchief with lace all 
arcund it, — it was even added that it was worked 
in the corners ; but this latter point was never 
satisfactorily ascertained, and remains, in fact, 
unsettled to this day. 

Miss Ophelia, as you now behold her, stands 
before you, in a very shining brown linen travel- 
ling-dress, tall, square-formed, and angular. Her 
face was thin, and rather sharp in its outlines ; 
the lips compressed, like those of a person who 
is in the habit of making up her mind definitely 
on all subjects ; while the keen, dark eyes had a 
peculiarly searching, advised movement, and trav- 
elled over everything, as if \hey were looking for 
something to take care of. 

All her movements were sharp, decided, and 
energetic ; and, though she was never much of a 
talker, her words were remarkably direct, and to 
the purpose, when she did speak. 

In her habits, she was a living impersonation 
of order, method, and exactness. In punctuality, 
she was as inevitable as a clock, and as inexora- 
ble as a railroad engine ; and she held in most 
decided contempt and abomination anything of a 
contrary character. 

The great sin of sins, in her eyes, — the sum 
of all evils, — was expressed by one very common 
and important word in her vocabulary — " shift- 
lessness." Her finale and ultimatum of contempt 
consisted in a very emphatic pronunciation of the 
word " shiftless ;" and by this she characterized 
all modes of procedure which had not a direct and 
inevitable relation to accomplishment of some 
purpose then definitely had in mind. People 
who did nothing, or who did not know exactly 
what they were going to do, or who did not take 
the most direct way to accomplish what they set 
their hands t;>, were objects of her entire con- 
tempt, — a contempt shown less frequently by 
anything she said, than by a kind of stony grim- 
ness, as if she scorned to say anything about the 
matter. 

As to mental cultivation, — she had a clear, 
strong, active mind, was well and thoroughly 
read in history and the older English classics, 
and thought with great strength within certain 
narrow limits. Her theological tenets were all 
made up, labelled in most positive and distinct 
forms, and put by, like the bundles in her patch 
trunk ; there were just so many of them, and 
there were never to be any more. So, also, were 
her ideas with regard to most matters of prac- 
tical life, — such as housekeeping in all its 
branches, and the various political relations of 
her native village. And, underlaying all, deeper 
than anything else, higher and broader, lay the 
strongest principle of her being — conscientious- 
ness. Nowhere is conscience so dominant and 
all-absorbing as with New England women. It 
is the granite formation, which lies deepest, and 
rises out, even to the tops of the highest moun- 
tains. 

Miss Ophelia was the absolute bond-slave of 
the "ought." Once make her certain that the 



" path of duty," as she commonly phrased it, lay 
in any given direction, and fire and water could 
not keep her from it. She would walk straight 
down into a well, or up to a loaded cannon's 
mouth, if she were only quite sure that there the 
path lay. Her standard of right was so high, so 
all-embracing, so minute, and making so few con- 
cessions to human frailty, that, though she strove 
with heroic ardor to reach it, she never actually 
did so, and of course was burdened with a con- 
stant and often harassing sense of deficiency ; — 
this gave a severe and somewhat gloomy cast to 
her religious character. 

But, now in the world can Miss Ophelia get 
along with xiugustine St. Clare, — gay, easy, 
unpunctual, unpractical, sceptical, — in short, 
walking with impudent and nonchalant freedom 
over every one of her most cherished habits and 
opinions ? 

To tell the truth, then, Miss Ophelia loved 
him. When a boy, it had been hers to teach 
him his catechism, mend his clothes, comb his 
hair, and bring him up generally in the way he 
should go ; and her heart having a warm side to 
it, Augustine had, as he usually did with most 
people, monopolized a large share of it for him- 
self, and therefore it was that he succeeded very 
easily in persuading her that the "path of duty " 
lay in the direction of New Orleans, and that she 
must go with him to take care of Eva, and keep 
everything from going to wreck and ruin during 
the frequent illnesses of his wife. The idea of a 
house without anybody to take care of it went to 
her heart; then she loved the lovely little girl, 
as few could help doing ; and though she regarded 
Augustine as very much of a heathen, yet she 
loved him, laughed at his jokes, and forbore with 
his failings, to an extent which those who knew 
him thought perfectly incredible. But what more 
or other is to be known of Miss Ophelia, our reader 
must discover by a personal acquaintance. 

There she is, sitting now in her state-room, 
surrounded by a mixed multitude of little and big 
carpet-bags, boxes, baskets, each containing some 
separate responsibility which she is tying, bind- 
ing up, -packing, or fastening, with a face of great 
earnestness. 

"Now, Eva,* have you kept count of your 
things 1 Of course you have n't, — children 
never do : there 's the spotted carpet-bag and 
the little blue band-box with your best bonnet, 

— that 's two ; then the India rubber satchel is 
three ; and my tape and needle box is four ; and 
my band-box, five ; and my collar-box, six ; and 
that little hair trunk, seven. What have you 
done with your sunshade ? Give it to me, and 
let me put a paper round it, and tie it to my 
umbrella with my shade ; — there, now." 

" Why, aunty, we are only going up home ; — 
what is the use ? ' ' 

" To keep it nice, child ; people must take care 
of their things, if they ever mean to have any- 
thing; and now, Eva, is your thimble put up ?" 

"Really, aunty, I don't know." 

" Well, never mind ; I '11 look your box over, 

— thimble, wax, two spools, scissors, knife, tape- 
needle ; all right, — put it in here. What did 
you ever do, child, when you were coming on 
with only your papa? I should have thought 
you 'd a lost everything you had." 

" Well, aunty, I did lose a great many ; and 
then, when we stopped anywhere, papa would 
buv some more of whatever it was." 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



63 



" Meicy on us, ohild, — what a way !" 

11 lr was a very easy way, aunty," said Eva. 

"It's a dreadful shiftless one," said aunty. 

11 Why, aunty, what '11 you do now ?" said 
Eva : "that trunk is too full to be shut down." 

" It must shut down," said aunty, with the air 
of a general, as she squeezed the things in, and 
sprung upon the lid : — still a little gap remained 
about the mouth of the trunk. 

" (Jet up hero, Eva !" said Miss Ophelia, cour- 
ageously ; •• what has been done can he done 
again. This trunk has sot to be shut and locked 

— there are no two ways about it." 

And the trunk, intimidated, doubtless, by this 
resolute statement, gave in. The hasp snapped 
sharply in its hole, and Miss Ophelia turned the 
key. and pocketed it in triumph. 

" Now we 're ready. Where. 's your papal I 
think it time this baggage was set out. Do look 
out, Eva, and see if you see your papa." 

" 0, yes, he "s down the other end of the gen- 
tleman's cabin, eating an orange." 

"lie can't know how near we are coming," 
said aunty; "had n't you better run and speak 
to him?" 

" Papa never is in a hurry about anything," 
said Eva, " and we have n't come to the landing. 
Do stop on the guards, aunty. Look ! there "s 
our house, up that street !" 

The boat now began, with heavy groans, like 
some vast, tired monster, to prepare to push up 
among the multiplied steamers at the levee. Eva 
joyously pointed out the various spires, domes, 
and way-marks, by which she recognized her na- 
tive city. 

" Yes, yes, dear ; very fine," said Miss Ophelia. 
" Bat mercy on us ! the boat has stopped ! where 
is your father?" 

And now ensued the usual turmoil of landing 

— waiters running twenty ways at once — men 
tugging trunks, carpet-bags, boxes — women anx- 
iously calling to their children, and everybody 
crowding in a dense mass to the plank towards 
the landing. 

Miss Ophelia seated herself resolutely on the 
lately vanquished trunk, and marshalling all her 
goods and chattels in fine military order, seemed 
resolved to defend them to the last. 

" Shall I take your trunk, ma'am?" " Shall I 
take your baggage?" "Let me 'tend to your 
baggage, Missis?" "Shan't I carry out these 
yer, Missis?" rained down upon her unheeded. 
•She sat with grim determination, upright as a 
darning-needle stuck in a board, holding on her 
bundle of umbrella and parasols, and replying 
with a determination that w r as enough to strike 
dismay even into a hackman, wondering to Eva, 
in each interval, " what upon earth her papa 
could be thinking of; he couldn't have fallen 
over, now, — but something must have hap- 
pened;" — and just as she had begun to work 
herself into real distress, he came up, with his 
usually careless motion, and giving Eva a quarter 
of the orange he was eating, said, 

" Well, Cousin Vermont, I suppose you are all 
ready." 

" I 've been ready, waiting, nearly an hour," 
said Miss Ophelia ; " I began to be really con- 
cerned about you." 

"That's a clever fellow, now," said he. 
"Well, the carriage is waiting, and the crowd 
are now off, so that one can walk out in a decent 
and Christian manner, and not be pushed and 



shoved. Here," he added to a driver who stood 
behind him, " take these things." 

" [ '11 go and sec to his putting them in," said 
Miss Ophelia. 

" pshaw, cousin, what 's the use?" said St. 
Clare. 

" Well, at any rate, I '11 carry this, and this, 
and this," said Miss Ophelia, singling out three 
boxes and a small carpet-bag. 

" My dear Miss Vermont, positively, you 
mustn't come the Green Mountains over us that 
way. You must adopt at least a piece of a south- 
ern principle, and not walk out under all that 
load. They '11 take you for a waiting-maid ;■ give 
them to this fellow; he '11 put them down as if 
they were eggs, now." 

Miss Ophelia looked despairingly, as her 
cousin took all her treasures from her, and re- 
joiced to find herself once more in the carriage 
with them, in a state of preservation. 

"Where's Tom?" said Eva. 

" 0, he's on the outside, Pussy. I'm going 
to take Tom up to mother for a peace-offering, to 
make up for that drunken fellow that upset the 
carriage." ■ 

" 0, Tom will make a splendid driver, I know," 
said Eva ; "he '11 never get drunk." 

The carriage stopped in front of an ancient 
mansion, built in that odd mixture of Spanish 
and French style, of which there are specimens in 
some parts of New Orleans. It was built in the 
Moorish fashion, — a square building enclosing a 
court-yard, into which the carriage drove through 
an arched gateway. The court, in the inside, had 
evidently been arranged to gratify a picturesque 
and voluptuous ideality. Wide galleries ran all 
around the four sides, whose Moorish arches, 
slender pillars,- and arabesque ornaments, carried 
the mind back, as in a dream, to the reign of 
oriental romance in Spain. In the middle of the 
court, a fountain threw high its silvery water, 
falling in a never-ceasing spray into a marble 
basin, fringed with a deep border of fragrant vio- 
lets. The water in the fountain, pellucid as 
crystal, was alive with myriads of gold and silver 
fishes, twinkling and darting through it like so 
many living jewels. Around the fountain ran a 
walk, paved with a mosaic of pebbles, laid in 
various fanciful patterns; and this, again, was 
surrounded by turf, smooth as green velvet, while 
a carriage drive enclosed the whole. Two large 
orange-trees, now fragrant with blossoms, threw 
a delicious shade ; and, ranged in a circle round 
upon the turf, were marble vases of arabesque 
sculpture, containing the choicest flowering plants 
of the tropics. Huge pomegranate trees with 
their glossy leaves and flame-colored flowers, dark- 
leaved Arabian jessamines with their silvery 
stars, geraniums, luxuriant roses bending beneath 
their heavy abundance of flowers, golden jessa- 
mines, lemon-scented verbenum, all united their 
bloom and fragrance, while here and there a mys- 
tic old aloe, with its strange, massive leaves, sat 
looking like some hoary old enchanter, sitting in 
weird grandeur among the more perishable bloom 
and fragrance around it. 

The galleries that surrounded the court were 
festooned with a curtain of some kind of Moorish 
stuff, that could be drawn down at pleasure, to 
exclude the beams of the sun. On the whole, 
the appearance of the place was luxurious and 
romantic. 

As the carriage drove in, Eva seemed like a bird. 



64 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR. 



rea?dy to burst from a cage, ■with the wild eager- 
ness of her delight. 

" 0, isn't it beautiful, lovely! my own dear, 
darling home!" she said to Miss Ophelia. 
" Isn't it beautiful?" 

" 'T is a pretty place," said Miss Ophelia, as 
she alighted; "though it looks rather old and 
heathenish to me." 

Tom got down from the carriage, and looked 
about with an air of Galm, still enjoyment. The 
negro, it must be remembered, is an exotic of the 
most gorgeous and superb countries of the world, 
and he ha«, deep in his heart, a passion for all 
that is splendid, rich, and fanciful ; a passion 
which, rudely indulged by an untrained taste, 
d^*ws on ki.'oili, the ridicule of the colder and more 
corfect white race. 

St. Clare, who Avas in his heart a poetical vo- 
luptuary, smiled as Miss Ophelia made her remark 
on his premises, and, turning to Te>m, who was 
standing looking round, his beaming black face 
perfectly radiant with admiration, he said, 

" Tom, my boy, this seems to suit you." 

" Yes, Mas'r, it looks about the right thing," 
said Tom. 

All this passed in a moment, while trunks were 
being hustled off, hackman paid, and while a 
crowd, of all ages and sizes, — men, women, and 

children, — came running through the galleries, 

7 © © © 

both above and below, to see Mas'r come in. 
Foremost among them was a highly-dressed 
young mulatto man, evidently a very distingue 
personage, attired in the ultra extreme of the 
mode, and gracefully waving a scented cambric 
handkerchief in his hand. 

This personage had been exerting himself, with 
great alacrity, in driving all the Mock of domestics 
to the o.ther end of the veranda. 

" Back ! all of you. I am ashamed of you,*' he 
said, in a tone of authority. " Would you intrude 
on Master's domestic relations, in the first hour of 
his return ?" 

All looked abashed at this elegant speech, de- 
livered with quite an air, and stood huddled 
together at a respectful distance, except two stout 
porters, who came up and began conveying away 
the baggage. 

©© © 

Owing to Mr. Adolph's systematic arrangements, 
when St. Clare turned round from paying the 
hackman, there was nobody in view but Mr. Adolph 
himself, conspicuous in satin vest, gold guard- 
chain, and white pants, and bowing with inex- 
pressible grace and suavity. 

"Ah, Adolph, is it you?" said his master, 
offering his hand to him ; " how are you, boy?" 
while Adolph poured forth, with great fluency, an 
extemporary speech, which he had been preparing, 
with great care, for a fortnight before. 

" Well, well," said St. Clare, passing on, with 
his usual air of negligent drollery, " that 's very 
well got up, Adolph. See that the baggage is 
well bestowed. 1 '11 come to the people in a min- 
ute ;" and, so saying, he led Miss Ophelia to a 
large parlor that opened on to the veranda. 

While this had been passing, Eva had flown like 
a bird, through the porch and parlor, to a little 
boudoir opening likewise on the veranda. 

A tall, dark-eyed, sallow woman half rose from 
a couch on which she w r as reclining. 

" Mamma !" said Eva, in a sort of a rapture, 
throwing herself on her neck, and embracing her 
over and over again. 

"That'll do, — take care, child, — don't, you 



make my head ache," said the mother, after she 
had languidly kissed her. 

St. Clare came in, embraced his wiCe in true, 
orthodox, husbandly fashion, and then presented 
to her his cousin. Marie lifted her large eyes on 
her cousin with nn air of some curiosity, and re- 
ceived her with languid politeness. A crowd of 
servants now pressed to the entry door, and among 
them a middle-aged mulatto woman, of very re- 
spectable appearance, stood fijremost, in a tremor 
of expectation and joy, at the door. 

" O, there 's Mammy !" said Eva, as she flew 
across the room ; and, throwing herself int,o her 
arms, she kissed her repeatedly. 

This woman did not tell her that she made her 
head ache, but, on the contrary, she hugged her, 
and laughed, and cried, till her sanity was a thing 
to be doubted of; and when released rrom her, Eva 
flew from one to another, shaking h an/Is and kiss- 
ing, in away that Miss Ophelia afterwards declared 
fairly turned her stomach. 

"Well!" said Miss Ophelia, "you southern 
children can do something that J could n't." 

" What now, pray?" said St. Clare. 

" Well, I want to be kind to everybody, and I 
wouldn't have anything hurt; but as to kiss- 
ing—" 

" Niggers," said St. Clare, " #iat you 're not up 
to, — hey?" 

" Yes, that 's it. How can she ?" 

St. Clare laughed, as he went into the passage. 
" Halloa, here, what's to pay out here? Here, 
you all — Mammy, Jimmy, Polly, Sukey — glad to 
see Mas'r?" he said, as he went shaking hands 
from one to another. " Look out for the babies !" 
he added, as he stumbled over a sooty little urchin, 
who was crawling upon all fours. " If I step upon 
anybody, let 'em mention it." 

There was an abundance of laughing and bless- 
ing Mas'r, as St. Clare distributed small pieces of 

© J 

change among them. 

" Come, now, take yourselves off, like good boys 
and girls," he said ; and the whole assemblage, 
dark and light, disappeared through a door into a 
large veranda, followed by Eva, who carried a 
large satchel, which she had been filling with 
apples, nuts, candy, ribbons, laces, and toys of 
every description, during her whole homeward 
journey. 

As St. Clare turned to go back, his eye fell upon 
Tom, who was standing uneasily, shifting from one 
foot to the other, while Adolph stood negligently 
leaning against the banisters, examining Tom 
through an opera-glass, with an air that w r ould 
have done credit to any dandy living. 

" Puh ! you puppy," said his master, striking 
down the opera-glass ; " is that the way you treat 
your company? Seems to me, Dolph," he added, 
laying his finger on the elegant figured satin vest 
that Adolph was sporting, " seems to -me that 's 
my vest." 

" ! Master, this vest all stained with wine; 
of course, a gentleman in Master's standing never 
wears a vest like this. I understood I was to take 
it. It does for a poor nigger-fellow, like me." 

And Adolph tossed his head, and passed his 
fingers through his scented hair, with a grace. 

" So, that 's it, is it ?" said St. Clare, carelessly. 
" Well, here, I 'm going to show this Tom to his 
mistress, and then you take him to the kitchen ; 
and mind you don't put on any of your airs to him. 
He 's worth two such puppies as you." 

" Master always will have his jok'3," said 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



65 



Iph, laughing ' T n delighted to see Master 
in BOCh spirits." 

11 M >re, Tom,*' siid St. Clare, beckoning. 

Tom entered the room. He Looked wistfully on 
the velvet carpets, and the before unimagmed 
splend >rs of mirrors, pictures, statues, and cur- 
tains, and, like the QneenofSheba before Solomon, 
there was no more spirit in him. He looked 
afraid even to sot his feet down. 

•• See here, Marie," said St. (dare to his wife, 
'* I "v bought you a coachman, at last, to order. 
I tell von he 's a regular hearse for blackness and 
sobriety, and will drive yon like a funeral, if you 
want. Open your eyes, now, and look at him. 
Now, don't say I never think about }-ou when I *m 
gone." 

Marie opened her eyes, and fixed them on Tom, 
without rising. 

" I know he '11 get drunk," she said. 

" No, he 's warranted a pious and sober ar- 
ticle." 

" Well, T hope he mav turn out well," said the 
Lady : " it 'a more than X expect, though." 

" Dolph," said vSt. Clare, " show Tom down 
stairs ; and, mind yourself," he added ; " remember 
what T told you." 

Adolph tripped gracefully forward, and Tom, 
with lumbering tread, went after. 

" He 'a a perfect behemoth !" said Marie. 

" Come, now, Marie," said St. Clare, seating 
himself on a stool beside her sofa, " be gracious, 
and say something pretty to a fellow." 

" You 've been gone a fortnight beyond the 
time," said the lady, pouting. 

11 Well, you know I wrote you the reason." 

" Such a short, cold letter !" said the lady. 

"Dear me! the mail was just going, and it 
had to be that or nothing." 

" That \s just the way, always," said the lady ; 
" always something to make your journeys long, 
and letters short." 

" See here, now," lie added, drawing an 
elegant velvet case out of his pocket, and open- 
ing it, " here 's a present I got for you in New 
Yo°rk." k & ^ 

It was a daguerreotype, clear and soft as an 
engraving, representing Eva and her father sit- 
ting hand in hand. 

Marie looked at it with a dissatisfied air. 

" What made you sit in such an awkward 
position ?" she said. 

" Well, the position may be a matter of opin- 
ion ; but what do you think of the likeness?" 

" If you don't think anything of my opinion in 
one case, I suppose you wouldn't in another," 
said the lady, shutting the daguerreotype. 

" Hang the woman !" said St. Clare, mentally ; 
but aloud he added, " Come, now, Marie, what 
do you think of the likeness ? Don't be nonsen- 
sical, now." 

" It 's very inconsiderate of you, St. Clare," 
said the lady, " to insist on my talking and look- 
ing at things. You know I 've been lying all day 
with the sick head-ache ; and there 's been such 
a tumult made ever since you came, I 'm half 
dead." 

" You 're subject to the sick-headache, ma'am?" 
said Miss Ophelia, suddenly rising from the 
depths of the large arm-chair, where she had sat 
quietly, taking an inventory of the furniture, and 
calculating its expense. 

"Yes, I'm a perfect martyr to it," said the 
lady 

5 



11 Juniper-berry tea is good for sick-headache." 
said Miss Ophelia; "at least, Auguste, Deacon 
Abraham Perry's wife, used to say so ; and she 
was a great nurse." 

" I '11 have the first juniper-berries that get 
ripe in our garden by the lake brought in for that 
especial purpose," said St. Clare, gravely pulling 
the bell as ho did so ; " meanwhile, cousin, you 
must be wanting to retire to your apartment, and 
refresh yourself a little, after your journey. 
Dolph." he added, " tell Mammy to come here." 
The decent mulatto woman whom Eva had 
caressed so rapturously soon entered ; she was 
dressed neatly, with a high red and yellow turban 
on her head, the recent gift of Eva, and which 
the child had been arranging on her head. 
••Mammy." said St. Clare, "I put this lady 
under your care ;" she is tired, and wants rest; 
take her to her chamber, and be sure she is mad« 
comfortable:" and Miss Ophelia disappeared in 
the rear of Mammy. 




CHAPTER XVI. 

tom's mistress and her opinions. 

" And now, Marie," said St. Clare, " you* 
golden days are dawning. Here is our practical, 
business-like New England cousin, who will take 
the whole budget of cares off your shoulders, and 
give you time to refresh yourself, and grow young 
and handsome. The ceremony of delivering tha 
keys had better come off forthwith." 

This remark was made at the breakfast-table, a 
few mornings after Miss Ophelia had arrived. 

" I 'm sure she 's welcome," said Marie, lean- 
ing her head languidly on her hand. " I think 
she '11 find one tiling, if she does, and that is, 
that it 's we mistresses that are the slaves, down 
here." 

"0, certainly, she Avill discover that, and a 
world of wholesome truths besides, no doubt," 
said St. Clare. 

" Talk about our keeping slaves, as if we did it 
for our convenience," said Marie. " I 'm sure, if 
Ave consulted that, we might let them all go at 
once." 

Evangeline fixed her large, serious eyes on her 
mother's face, with an earnest and perplexed ex- 
pression, and said, simply, " What do you keep 
them for, mamma?" 

" I don't know, I 'm sure, except for a plague ; 
they are the plague of my life. I believe that 
more of my ill health is caused by them than by 
any one thing ; and ours, I know, are the very 
worst that ever anybody was plagued with." 

"0, come, Marie, you 've got the blues, this 
morning," said St. Clare. "You know 't isn't 
so. There 's Mammy, the best creature living, — 
what could you do without her V 

" Mammy is the best I ever knew," said Marie ; 
"and yet Mammy, now, is selfish — dreadfully 
selfish ; it 's the fault of the whole race." 

" Selfishness is a dreadful fault," said St. Clare, 
gravely. 

" Well, now, there 's Mammy." said Marie, " 1 
think it 's selfish of her to sleep so sound nights ; 
she knows I need little attentions almost every 
hour, when my worst turns are on, and yet she '» 
so hard to wake. I absolutely am worse!, this very 
morning, for the efforts I had to make to wak« 
her last night." 



66 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN '. OR, 



*' Has n't she sat up with you a good many 
nights, lately, mamma?"* said Eva. 

"How should you know that?" said Marie, 
sharply ; " she 's been complaining, I suppose." 

" She did n't complain ; she only told me what 
bad nights you 'd had, — so many in succession." 

" Why don't you let Jane or Rosa take her 
place, a night or two," said St. Clare, " and let 
her rest?" 

" How can you propose it?" said Marie. " St. 
Clare, you really are inconsiderate. So nervous 
as I am, the least breath disturbs me; and a 
strange hand about me would drive me absolutely 
frantic. If Mammy felt the interest in me she 
ought to, she'd wake easier, — of course, she 
would. I 've heard of people who had such de- 
voted servants, but it, never was my luck;" and 
Marie sighed. 

Miss Ophelia had listened to this conversation 
with an air of shrewd, observant gravity; and 
she still kept her lips tightly compressed, as if 
determined fully to ascertain her longitude and 
position, before she committed herself. 

" Now Mammy has a sort of goodness," said 
Marie, " she 's smooth and respectful, but she 's 
selfish at heart. Now, she never will be done 
fidgeting and worrying about that husband of hers. 
You see, when I was married and came to live 
here, of course, I had to bring her with me, and 
her husband my father could n't spare. He was 
a blacksmith, and, of course, very necessary ; 
and I thought and said, at the time, that Mammy 
and he had better give each other up, as it was n't 
likely to be convenient for them ever to live to- 
gether again. I wish, now, I 'd insisted on it, and 
married Mammy to somebody else ; but I was fool- 
ish and indulgent, and did n't want to insist. I 
told Mammy, at the time, that she mustn't ever ex- 
pect to see him more than once or twice in her life 
again, for the air of father's place does n't agree 
with my health, and I can't go there ; and I ad- 
vised her to take up with somebody else ; but no 
— she would n't. Mammy has a kind of obsti- 
nacy about her, in spots, that everybody don't see 
as 1 do." 

" Has she children?" said Miss Ophelia. 

" Yes ; she has two." 

i: I suppose she feels the separation from them?" 

" Well, of course, I could n't bring them. They 
were little dirty things — I could n't have them 
about ; and, besides, they took up too much of 
her time ; but I believe that Mammy has always 
kept up a sort of sulkiness about this. She won't 
marry anybody else ; and I do believe, now, 
though she knows how necessary she is to me, 
and how feeble my health is, she would go back 
to her husband to-morrow, if she only could. I 
do, indeed," said Marie ; " they are just so self- 
ish, now, the best of them." 

"It's distressing to reflect upon," said St. 
Glare, dryly. 

Miss Ophelia looked keenly at him, and saw 
the flush of mortification and repressed vexation, 
and the sarcastic curl of the lip, as he spoke. 

" Now, Mammy has always been a pet with 
me," said Marie. " I wish some of your north- 
ern servants could look at her closets of dresses, 
— silks and muslins, and one real linen cambric, 
she has hanging there. I 've worked sometimes 
whole afternoons, trimming her caps, and getting 
her ready to go to a party. As to abuse, she 
don't know what it is. She never was whipped 
moro than once or^-wico in her whole life. She 



has her strong coffee or her tea every day, witJ> 
white sugar in it. It 'r abominable, to be sure , 
but St. Clare will have high life be low-stairs, and 
they every one of them live just as they please. 
The fact is, our servants are over-indulged. I 
suppose it is partly our fault that they are selfish, 
and act like spoiled children ; but I 've talked to 
St. Clare till I am tired." 

" And I, too," said St. Clare, taking up the 
morning paper. 

Eva, the beautiful Eva, had stood listening to 
her mother, with that expression of deep and 
mystic earnestness which was peculiar to her. 
She walked softly round to her mother's chair, 
and put her arms round her neck. 

" Well, Eva, what now?" said Marie. 

"Mamma, couldn't I take care of you one 
night — just one? I know I shouldn't make you 
nervous, and I shouldn't sleep. I often lie awako 
nights, thinking — " 

" 0, nonsense, child — nonsense !" said Marie ; 
" you are such a strange child !" 

"But may I, mamma? I think," she said r 
timidly, " that Mammy isn't well. She told mo 
her head ached all the time, lately." 

"0, that's just one of Mammy's fidgets f 
Mammy is just like all the rest of them — makes 
such a fuss about every little head-ache or finger- 
ache ; it '11 never do to encourage it — never ! F 
am principled about this matter," said she, turning 
to Miss Ophelia ; " you '11 find the necessity of it. 
If you encourage servants in giving way to every 
little disagreeable feeling, and complaining of 
every little ailment, you 'II have your hands full. 
I never complain myself — nobod/ knows what I 
endure. I feel it a duty to bear it quietly, and I do." 

Miss Ophelia's round eyes expressed an undis- 
guised amazement at this peroration, which 
struck St. Clare as so supremely ludicrous that 
he burst into a loud laugh. 

" St. Clare always laughs when I make the 
least allusion to my ill health," said Marie, with 
the voice of a suffering martyr. " I only hope 
the day won't come when he'll remember it!" 
and Marie put her handkerchief to her eyes. 

Of course, there was rather a foolish silence- 
Finally, St. Clare got up, looked at his watch , 
and said he had an engagement down street.. 
Eva tripped away after him, and Miss Ophelia 
and Marie remained at the table alone. 

"Now, that's just like St. Clare !" said the 
latter, withdrawing her handkerchief with some* 
what of a spirited flourish, when the criminal to 
be affected by it was no longer 'in sight. "lie 
never realizes, never can, never will, what I suf- 
fer, and have, for years. If I was one of the 
complaining sort, or ever made any fuss about 
my ailments, there would be some reason for it. 
Men do get tired, naturally, of a complaining 
w r ife. But I 've kept things to myself, and borne, 
and borne, till St. Clare has got in the way of 
thinking I can bear anything." 

Miss Ophelia did not exactly know what she 
was expected to answer to this. 

While she was thinking what to say, Marie 
gradually wiped away her tears, and smoothed 
her plumage in a general way, as a dove might be 
supposed to make toilet after a shower, and 
began a housewifely chat with Miss Ophelia, con- 
cerning cupboards, closets, linen-presses, store- 
rooms, ana other matters, of w r hich the lat- 
ter w r as, by common understanding, to assumo 
the direction, — giving her so many cautious 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



07 



directions and charges that a head less systematic 
and business-like than Miss Ophelia's would have 
utterly dizzied and confounded. 

•• And dow, 'V said Mario, " t believe I've told 
you everything ; a i that, when my next sick turn 
comes on, you 11 he able to go forward entirely, 
without consulting me; — only about Eva, — she 
requires watching." 

"She seems to he a good child, very," said 
Miss Ophelia ; " I never saw a better child." 

••leva's peculiar," said her mother, "very. 
There are things about her so singular ; she 
isn't like me, now, a particle;" and Marie 
sighed, as if this was a truly melancholy con- 
sideration. 

Miss Ophelia in her own heart said, " I hope 
she isn't," but had prudence enough to keep it 
down. 

11 Eva always was disposed to he with servants ; 
and I think that well enough with some children. 
Now, I always played with father's little negroes 
— it never did me any harm. But Eva somehow 
alwa}*s seems to put herself on an equality with 
every creature that comes near her. It 's a 
strange thins: about the child. I never have been 
able to break her of it. St. Clare, I believe, 
encourages her in it. The fact is, St. Clare in- 
dulges every creature under this roof but his own 
wife." 

Again Miss Ophelia sat in blank silence. 

"Now, there's no way with servants," said 
Marie, " but to put them down, and keep them 
down. It was always natural to me, from a 
child. Eva is enough to spoil a whole house-full. 
What she will do when she comes to keep house 
herself, I 'm sure I don't know. I hold to being 
kind to servants — I always am ; but you must 
make 'em know their place. Eva never does ; 
there 's no getting into the child's head the first 
beginning of an idea what a servant's place is ! 
You heard her offering to take care of me nights, 
to let Mammy sleep ! That 's just a specimen of 
the way the child would be doing all the time, if 
the was left to herself." 

"Why," said Miss Ophelia, bluntly, "I sup- 
pose you think your servants are human crea- 
tures, and ought to have some rest when they are 
tired?" 

" Certainly, of course. I 'm very particular in 
Letting them have everything that comes con- 
venient, — anything that does n't put one at all 
out of the way, you know. Mammy can make 
up her sleep, some time or other ; there 's no diffi- 
culty about that. She 's the sleepiest concern 
that ever I saw ; sewing, standing or sitting, that 
creature will go to sleep, and sleep anywhere and 
everywhere. No danger but Mammy gets sleep 
enough. But this treating servants as if they 
were exotic flowers, or china vases, is really 
ridiculous," said Marie, as she plunged languidly 
into the depths of a voluminous and pillowy 
lounge, and drew towards her an . elegant cut- 
glass vinaigrette. 

" You see," she continued, in a faint and lady- 
like voice, like the last dying breath of an Arabian 
jessamine, or something equally ethereal, "you 
see, Cousm Ophelia, I don't often speak of my- 
self. It is n't my habit ; 't is n't agreeable to me. 
In fact, I have n't strength to do it. But there 
are points where St. Clare and I differ. St. Clare 
never understood me, never appreciated me. I 
think it lies at the root of all my ill health. St. 
Claro means well, I am bound to believe ; but 



men arc constitutionally selfish and inconsiderate 
to women. That, at least, is my impression." 

Miss Ophelia, who had not a small share of 
the genuine New England caution, and a very 
particular horror of being drawn into family diffi- 
culties, now began to foresee something of this 
kind impending; so, composing her face into a 
grim neutrality, and drawing out of her pocket 
about a yard and a quarter of stocking, which she, 
kept as a specific against what Dr. Watts asserts 
to be a personal habit of Satan when people have 
idle hands, she proceeded to knit most energeti- 
cally, shutting her lips together in a way that 
said, as plain as words could, " You needn't try 
to make me speak. I don't want anything to do 
with your affairs," — in fact, she looked about as 
sympathizing as a stone lion. But Marie didn't 
care for that. She had got somebody to talk to, 
and she felt it her duty to talk, and that wag 
enough ; and reinforcing herself by smelling again 
at her vinaigrette, she went on. 

" You see, I brought my own property and 
servants into the connection, when I married St. 
Clare, and I am legally entitled to manage them 
my own way. St. Clare had his fortune and his 
servants, and I 'm well enough content he should 
manage them his way ; but St. Clare will be in- 
terfering. He has wild, extravagant notions 
about things, particularly about the treatment of 
servants. He really does act as if he set his 
servants before me, and before himself, too ; for 
he lets them make him all sorts of trouble, and 
never lifts a finger. Now, about some things, 
St. Clare is really frightful — he frightens me — 
good-natured as he looks, in general. Now, ho 
has set down his foot that, come what will, there 
shall not be a blow struck in this house, except 
what he or I strike ; and he does it in a way thai 
I really dare not cross him. Well, you may sea 
what that leads to ; for St. Clare would n't rais% 
his hand, if every one of them walked over him,, 
and I — you see how cruel it would be to require 
me to make the exertion. Now, you know these- 
servants are nothing but grown-up children." 

" I don't know anything about it, and I thank 
the Lord that I don't!" said Miss Ophelia, 
shortly. 

" Well, but you will have to know something* 
and know it to your cost, if you stay here. You 
don't know what a provoking, stupid, careless, 
unreasonable, childish, ungrateful set of wretches 
they are." 

Marie seemed wonderfully supported, always, 
when she got upon this topic ; and she now 
opened her eyes, and seemed quite to forget her 
languor. 

" You don't know, and you can't, the daily, 
hourly trials that beset a housekeeper from them, 
everywhere and every way. But it 's no use to 
complain to St. Clare. He talks the strangest 
stuff. He says we have made them what they 
are, and ought to bear with them. He says their 
faults are all owing to us, and that it would be 
cruel to make the fault and punish it too. He 
says we shouldn't do any better, in their place j 
just as if one could reason from them to us, you 
know." 

" Don't you belreve that the Lord made them 
of one blood with us?" said Miss Ophelia* 
shortly. 

'• No, indeed, not I ! A pretty etory, truly.,' 
They are a degraded race." 

"Don't you think they've got immortal 



68 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR, 



gouls? f) said Miss Ophelia, with increasing in- 
dignation. 

" 0, well," said Marie, yawning, "that, of 
course — nobody doubts that. But as to putting 
them on any sort of equality with us, you know, 
as if we could be compared, why, it 's impossi- 
ble ! Now, St. Clare really has talked to me as 
if keeping Mammy from her husband was like 
keeping me from mine. There 's no comparing 
in this way. Mammy could n't have the feelings 
that I should. It 's a different thing altogether, 

— of course, it is, — and yet St. Clare pretends 
not to see it. And just as if Mammy could love 
her little dirty babies as I love Eva ! Yet St. 
Clare once really and soberly tried to persuade 
me that it was my duty, with my weak health, 
and all I suffer, to let Mammy go back, and take 
somebody else in her place. That was a little 
too much even for me to bear. I don't often show 
my feelings. I make it a principle to endure 
everything in silence ; it 's a wife's hard lot, and I 
bear it. But I did break out, that time ; so that 
he has never alluded to the subject since. But I 
know by his looks, and little things that he says, 
that he thinks so as much as ever ; and it 's so 
trying, so provoking !" 

Miss Ophelia looked very much as if she was 
airaid she should say something ; but she rattled 
away with her needles in a way that had volumes 
qf meaning in it, if Marie could only have under- 
stood it. 

"So, you just see," she continued, "what 
you 've got to manage. A household without any 
rule ; where servants have it all their own way, 
do what they please, and have what they please, 
except so far as I, with my feeble health, have 
kept up government. I keep my cowhide about, 
and sometimes I do lay it on ; but the exertion is 
always too much for me. If St. Clare would 
qnly have this thing done as others do — " 

"And how's that?" 

" Why, send them to the calaboose, or some 
<3f the other places, to be flogged. That 's the only 
Way. If I was n't such a poor, feeble piece, I 
believe I should manage with twice the energy 
that St. Clare does." 

" And how does St. Clare contrive to manage?" 
said Miss Ophelia. " You say he never strikes a 
blow." 

" Well, men have a more commanding way, 
you know ; it is easier for them ; besides, if you 
ever looked full in his eye, it 's peculiar, — that 
eye, — and if he speaks decidedly, there 's a kind 
of flash. I 'm afraid of it, myself ; and the ser- 
vants know they must mind. I could n't do as 
much by a regular storm and scolding as St. 
Clare can by one turn of his eye, if once he is in 
earnest. 0, there 's no trouble about St. Clare ; 
that 's the reason he 's no more feeling for me. 
But you '11 find, when you come to manage, that 
.there 's no getting along without severity, — they 
are so bad, so deceitful, so lazy." 

" The old tune," said St. Clare, sauntering in. 
" What an awful account these wicked creatures 
will have to settle, at last, especially for being 
lazy ! You see, cousin," said he, as he stretched 
himself at full length on a lounge opposite to 
Marie, " it 's wholly inexcusable in them, in the 
light of the example that Marie and I set them, 

— this laziness." 

" Come, now, St. Clare, you are too bad !" said 
Marie. 

u Am I, now ? Why, I thought I was talking 



good, quite remarkably for me. I try to enforce 
your remarks, Marie, always." 

"You know you meant no such thing, Si. 
Clare," said Marie. 

"0,1 must have been mistaken, then. Thank 
you, my dear, for setting me right." 

" You do really try to be provoking," said 
Marie. 

"O, come, Marie, the day is growing warn*, 
and I have just had a long quarrel with Dolph, 
which has fatigued me excessively ; so, pray be 
agreeable, now, and let a fellow repose in the 
light of your smile." 

" What 's the matter about Dolph?" said Ma*- 
rie. " That fellow's impudence has been grow- 
ing to a point that is perfectly intolerable to me. 
I only wish I had the undisputed management of 
him a while. I 'd bring him down !" 

" What you say, my dear, is marked with youy 
usual acuteness and good sense," said St. Clare. 
" As to Dolph, the case is this : that he has so 
long been engaged in imitating my graces and 
perfections, that he has, at last, really mistaken 
himself for his master ; and I have been obliged 
to give him a little insight into his mistake." 

"How?" said Marie. 

" Why, I was obliged to let him understand 
explicitly that I preferred to keep some of my 
clothes for my own personal wearing ; also, I pui 
his magnificence upon an allowance of cologne- 
water, and actually was so cruel as to restrict 
him to one dozen of my cambric handkerchiefs. 
Dolph was particularly huffy about it, and I 
had to talk to him like a father, to bring him 
round." 

" ! St. Clare, when will you learn how to 
treat your servants ? It 's abominable, the way 
you indulge them !" said Marie. 

" Why, after all, what 's the harm of the poo* 
dog's wanting to be like his master ? and if I 
have n't brought him up any better than to find 
his chief good in cologne and cambric handker- 
chiefs, why shouldn't I give them to him?" 

" And why haven't you brought him up bet- 
ter?" said Miss Ophelia, with blunt determina- 
tion. 

"Too much trouble, — laziness, cousin, lazi- 
ness, — which ruins more souls than you can 
shake a stick at. If it were n't for laziness, I 
should have been a perfect angel, mysplf. I 'm 
inclined to think that laziness is what your old 
Dr. Botherem, up in Vermont, used to call the 
' essence of moral evil.' It 's an awful considei- 
ation, certainly." 

" I think you slaveholders have an awful re- 
sponsibility upon you," said Miss Ophelia. "I 
wouldn't have it, for a thousand worlds. You 
ought to educate your slaves, and treat them like 
reasonable creatures, — like immortal creatures, 
that you 've got to stand before the bar of God 
with. That 's my mind," said the good lady, 
breaking suddenly out with a tide of zeal that 
had been gaining strength in her mind all the 
morning. , 

" ! come, come," said St. Clare, getting up 
quickly; " what do you know about us?" And 
he sat down to the piano, and rattled a lively 
piece of music. St. Clare had a decided genius 
for music. His touch was brilliant and firm, and 
his fingers flew over the keys with a rapid and 
bird-like motion, airy, and yet decided. lis 
played piece after piece like a man who is trying 
to play himself into a good humor. After push- 



LIFE AM0NC1 THE T.OWI.V. 



09 



\x\c the music aside, he rose up, and said, gayly, 
• \\ ". 11. d w, cousin you "\?e given us a good talk. 
(ad done your duty; on the whole, 1 think the 
tetter of you for it. I make no manner of d >ubt 
that y*>u threw a ?ery diamond of truth at me, 
(hough you Bee it hit me so direetly in the face 
that it was n't exactly appreciated, at first." 

44 For my part, I don't see any use in such s art 
rrf talk." said Marie. "I'm sure, if anybody 
does more for servants than we do, I'd like to 
kn >w who ; and it don't d > Yin a bit good, — not 
a particle, — they get worse and worse. As to 
talking to them, or anything like that, I 'm sure 
I have talked till I was tired and hoarse, telling 
them their duty, and all that; and I 'm Bure they 
can go to church when they like, though they 
don't understand a word of the sermon, more 
than BO many pigs, — S I it isn't of any great use 
for them to g . as 1 see ; but they do g >, and - i 
they have every chance ; but, as I said before, 
they are a degraded race, and always will be, and 
there isn't any h«lp for them; you can't make 
anything of them, if you try. You see, Cousin 
Ophelia. I 've tried, and you haven't; I was born 
and bred am m^ them, and I know." 

Miss Ophelia thought she had said enough, 
and therefore sat silent. St. Clare whistled a 
tune. 

11 St. Clare, I wish you would n't whistle," said 
Marie ; " it makes my head worB •■" 

"I won't," said St. Clare. "Is there any- 
thing else y >u would n't wish me to do ? " 

"I wish you would have some kind of sympa- 
thy for my trials ; you never have any feeling for 
me." 

" My dear accusing angel !" said St. Clare. 

" It 's provoking to be talked to in that way." 

"Then, how will you be talked to? I'll talk 
to order, — anyway you'll mention, — only to 
give satisfaction." 

A gay laugh from the court rang through the 
dilken curtains of the veranda. St. Clare stepped 
Out, and lifting up the curtain, laughed too. 

"What is it?" said Miss Ophelia, coming to 
the railing. 

There sat Tom, on a little mossy seat in the 
court, every one of his button-holes stuck full of 
Cape jessamines, and Eva, gayly laughing, was 
hanging a wreath of roses round his neck ; and 
then she sat down on his knee, like a chip-spar- 
row, still laughing. 

"0, Tom, you look so funny!" 

Tom had a sober, benevolent smile, and seemed, 
In his quiet way, to be enjoying the fun quite as 
much as his little mistress. He lifted his eyes, 
When he saw his master, w r ith a half-deprecating, 
apologetic air. 

" flow can you let her ?" said Miss Ophelia. 

" Why not r ' said St. Clare. 

" Why, I don't know r , it seems so dreadful !" 

" You would think no harm in a child's caress- 
ing a large dog, even if he was black ; but a 
Creature that can think, and reason, and feel , and 
is immortal, you shudder at ; confess it, cousin. 
I know the feeling among some of you northern- 
ers well enough. Not that there is a particle of 
virtue in our not having it ; but custom w T ith us 
4oes what Christianity ought to do, — obliterates 
the feeling of personal prejudice. I have often 
noticed, in my travels north, how much stronger 
this was with you than with us. You loathe 
^hem as you would a snake or a toad, yet you are 
indignant at their wrongs. You would not have 



them abused ; but you don't want to have any- 
thing to do with them yourselves. You would 
send them to Africa, out of your sight and 
smell, and then send a missionary or two to do 
up all the self-denial of elevating them compend- 
iously. Is n't that it ?" 

" Well, cousin," said Miss Ophelia, thought- 
fully, " there may be some truth in this." 

" What would the poor and lowly do, without 
children ? " said St. Clare, leaning on the railing, 
and watching Eva, as she tripped off, leading Tom 
with her. " Your little child is your only true 
democrat. Tom, now, is a hero to Eva ; his sto- 
ries are wonders in her eyes, his songs and Meth- 
odist hymns are better than an opera, and the 
traps and little bits of trash in his pocket a mine 
of jewels, and he the most wonderful Tom that 
ever wore a black skin. This is one of the roses 
of Eden that the Lord has dropped down expressly 
for the poor and lowly, who get few enough of 
any other kind." 

"It's strange, cousin," said Miss Ophelia; 
" one might almost think you w r ere a professor, to 
hear you talk." 

" A professor?" said St. Clare. 

" Yes ; a professor of religion." 

" Not at all ; not a professor, as your town- 
folks have it ; and, what is worse, I 'in afraid, 
not a praetiser, cither." 

" What makes you talk so, then ?" 

" Nothing is easier than talking," said SU 
Clare. " I believe Shakspeare makes somebody 
say, ' I could sooner show twenty what were good 
to be done, than be one of the tw r enty to follow 
my own showing.' Nothing like division of lar 
bor. My forte lies in talking, and yours, cousin, 
lies in doing." 

In Tom's external situation, at this time, there 
Avas, as the world says, nothing to complain o£ 
Little Eva's fancy for him — the instinctive grat- 
itude and loveliness of a noble nature — had led 
her to petition her father that he might be her 
especial attendant, wdienever she needed the es- 
cort of a servant, in her walks or rides ; and Tom 
had general orders to let everything else go, and 
attend to Miss Eva whenever she wanted him, — 
orders which our readers may fancy were far from 
disagreeable to him. He w r as kept well dressed, 
for St. Clare was fastidiously particular on this 
point. His stable services were merely a sine* 
cure, and consisted simply in a daily care and 
inspection, and directing an under-servant in his 
duties ; for Marie St. Clare declared that she 
could not have any smell of the horses about him 
when he came near her, and that he must posi- 
tively not be put to any service that w r ould make 
him unpleasant to her, as her nervous system was 
entirely inadequate to any trial of that nature ; 
one snuff of anything disagreeable being, accord- 
ing to her account, quite sufficient to close the 
scene, and put an end to all her earthly trials at 
once. Tom, therefore, in his well-brushed broad- 
cloth suit, smooth beaver, glossy boots, faultless 
wristbands and collar, with his grave, good-natured 
black face, looked respectable enough to be a 
Bishop of Carthage, as men of his color were, in 
other ages. 

Then, too, he was in a beautiful place, a con- 
sideration to which his sensitive race are never 
indifferent ; and he did enjoy with a quiet joy the 
birds, the flowers, f he fountains, the perfume, and 
light and beauty of the court, the silken hang- 







UNCLE TOM S CABIN I OR, 



tags, and pictures, and lustres, and statuettes, 
and gilding, that made the parlors within a kind 
of Aladdin's palace to hirn. 

If ever Africa shall show an elevated and cul- 
tivated race, — and come it must, some time, her 
turn to figure in the great drama of human im- 
provement, — life w r ill awake there with a gor- 
geousness and splendor of which our cold western 
tribes faintly have conceived. In that far-off 
mystic land of gold, and gems, and spices, and 
waving palms, and w r ondrous flowers, and mirac- 
ulous fertility, will awake new forms of art, new 
styles of splendor ; and the negro race, no longer 
despised and trodden down, will, perhaps, show 
forth some of the latest and most magnificent rev- 
elations of human life. Certainly they will, in 
their gentleness, their lowly docility of heart, 
their aptitude to repose on a superior mind and 
rest on a higher power, their childlike simplicity 
Of afibction, and facility of forgiveness. In all 
these they will exhibit the highest form of the 
peculiarly Christian life, and, perhaps, as God 
chasteneth whom he loveth, he hath chosen poor 
Africa in the furnace of affliction, to make her 
the highest and noblest in that kingdom which 
he will set up, when every other kingdom has 
been tried, and failed ; for the first shall be last, 
and the last first. 

Was this what Marie St. Clare was thinking of, 
as she stood gorgeously dressed, on the veranda, on 
Sunday morning, clasping a diamond bracelet on 
her slender wrist? Most likely it was. Or, if it 
was n't that, it was something else ; for Marie pa- 
tronized good things, and she was going now, in full 
force, — diamonds, silk, and lace, and jewels, and 
all, — to a fashionable church, to be very religious. 
Marie always made a point to be very pious on 
Sundays. There she stood, so slender, so elegant, 
io airy and undulating in all her motions, her 
lace scarf enveloping her like a mist. She looked 
a graceful creature, and she felt very good and 
very elegant indeed. Miss Ophelia stood at her 
side, a perfect contrast. It was not that she had 
not as handsome a silk dress and shawl, and as 
fine a pocket-handkerchief; but stiffness and 
squareness, and bolt-uprightness, enveloped her 
with as indefinite yet appreciable a presence as 
did grace her elegant neighbor ; not the grace of 
God, however, — that is quite another thing ! 

" Where 's Eva?" said Marie. 

" The child stopped on the stairs, to say some- 
thing to Mammy." 

And what was Eva saying to Mammy on the 
Stairs ? Listen, reader, and you will hear, though 
Marie does not. 

" Dear Mammy, I know your head is aching 
dreadfully." 

" Lord bless you," Miss Eva ! " my head allers 
aches lately. You don't need to worry." 

" Well, I 'm glad you 're going out ; and here," 

— and the little girl threw her arms around her, 

— " Mammy, you shall take my vinaigrette." 

" What ! your beautiful gold thing, thar, with 
them diamonds ! Lor, Miss, 't would n't be prop- 
er, no ways." 

" Why not ? You need it, and I don't. Mam- 
ma always uses it for headache, and it '11 make 
you feel better. No, you shall take it to please 
me, now." 

" Do hear the darlin' talk !" said" Mammy, as 
Eva thrust it i lto her bosom, and, kissing her, 
ran down stairs to her mother. 

" What wers you stepping for?" 



"I was just stopping to give Mammy my vinai- 
grette, to take to church with her." 

'* Eva !" said Marie, stamping impatiently, — 
"your gold vinaigrette to Mammy ! When will 
you learn what 's proper? Go right and take it 
back, this moment !" 

Eva looked downcast and aggrieved, and turned 
slowly. 

11 1 say, Marie, let the child alone ; she shall 
do as she pleases," said St. Clare. 

" St. Clare, how will she ever get along in the 
world?" said Marie. 

" The Lord knows," said St. Clare ; " hul 
she '11 get along in heaven better than you or I." 

"0, papa, don't," said Eva, softly touching 
his elbow ; " it troubles mother." 

"Well, cousin, are you ready to go to meet>- 
ing?" said Miss Ophelia, turning square about 
on St. Clare. 

" I 'm not going, thank you." 

" I do wish St. Clare ever would go to church, M 
said Marie ; " but he has n't a particle of religion 
about him. It really is n't respectable." 

" I know it," said St. Clare. " You ladies go 
to church to learn how to get along in the world, 
I' suppose, and your piety sheds respectability on 
us. If I did go at all, I would go where Mammy 
goes ; there 's something to keep a fellow awake 
there, at least." 

"What! those shouting Methodists? Horri- 
ble !" said Marie. 

" Anything but the dead sea of your respecta- 
ble churches, Marie. Positively, it 's too much 
to ask of a man. Eva, do you like to go ? Come, 
stay at home and plav with me." 

" Thank you, papa ; but I 'd rather go to 
church." 

" Is n't it dreadful tiresome?" said St. Clare. 

" I think it is tiresome, some," said Eva ; "and 
I am sleepy, too, but I try to keep awake." 

" What do you go for, then ?" 

" Why you know, papa," she said, in a whim- 
per, " cousin told me that God wants to have us; 
and he give3 us everything, you know ; and it 
is n't much to do it, if he wants us to. It is n't 
so very tiresome, after all." 

"You sweet, little obliging soul!" said St. 
Clare, kissing her ; "go along, that's a good 
girl, and pray for me." - 

" Certainly, I always do," said the child, as 
she sprung after her mother into the carriage. 

St. Clare stood on the steps and kissed his hand 
to her, as the carriage drove away ; large tears 
were in his eyes. 

"0, Evangeline! rightly named," he said; 
" hath not God made thee an evangel to me ?" 

So he felt a moment ; and then he smoked a 
cigar, and read the Picayune, and forgot his little 
gospel. Was he much unlike other folks? 

" You see, Evangeline," said her mother, " it *s 
always right and proper to be kind to servants^ 
but it is n't proper to treat them, just as we would 
our relations, or people in our own class of life*. 
Now, if Mammy was sick, you would n't want t£> 
put her in your own bed." 

" I should feel just like it, mamma," said Evay 
" because, then it would be handier to take care 
of her, and because, you know, my bed is better 
than hers." 

Marie was in utter despair at the entire want 
of moral perception evinced in this reply. 

" What can I do to make this child understand 
me!" she said. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



71 



" Nothing," said Miss Ophelia, significantly. 

Eva looked sorry and disconcerted for a mo- 
ment : but children, luckily, do not keep to one 
Impression long, and in a Few moments she was 
merrily laughing at various things which she Baw 

from the coach-windows, as it rattled along. 

# * # * # # 

""Well, ladies," siid St. Clare, as they were 
comfortably seated at the dinner-table, " and what 
was the hill of fare at church to-day?" 

" 0, Dr. G preached a splendid sermon," 

said Marie. " It was just such a sermon as you 
ought to hear ; it expressed all my views ex- 
actly." 

" It must have been very improving," said St. 
Clare. M The subject must have been an exten- 
sive one." 

" Well, I mean all my views about society, and 
such things," said Marie. "The text was, ' He 
hath made everything beautiful in its season ;' 
and he showed how all the orders and distinctions 
in society came from Cod ; and that it was so 
appropriate, you know, and beautiful, that some 
should be high and some low, and that some were 
born to rule and some to serve, and all that, you 
know ; and he applied it so well to all this ridic- 
ulous fuss that is made about slavery, and he 
proved distinctly that the Bible was on our side, 
and supported all our institutions so convincingly. 
I only wish you 'd heard him." 

"0,1 did n't need it," said St. Clare. " I can 
learn what does me as much good as that from 
the Picayune, any time, and smoke a cigar be- 
sides ; which I can't do, you know, in a 
church." 

"Why," said Miss Ophelia, "don't you be- 
lieve in these views ?" 

" Who, — I ? You know I 'm such a graceless 
dog that these religious aspects of such subjects 
don't edify me much. If I was to say anything 
on this slavery matter, I would say out, fair and 
square, ' We 're in for it; we 've got 'em, and 
mean to keep 'em, — it 's for our convenience and 
our interest ;' for that 's the long and short of it, 
— that 's just the whole of what all this sancti- 
fied stuff amounts to, after all ; and I think 
that will be intelligible to everybody, every- 
where." 

" I do think, Augustine, you are so irrever- 
ent!" said Marie. "I think it's shocking to 
Lear you talk." 

" Shocking ! it 's the truth, 
on such matters, — why don't they carry it a lit- 
tle further, and show the beauty, in its season, 
of a fellow's taking a glass too much, and sitting 
a little too late over his cards, and various provi- 
dential arrangements of that sort, which are 
Eretty frequent among us young men ; — we 'd 
.ke to hear that those are right and godly, too." 

"Well," said Miss Ophelia, "do you think 
slavery right or wrong ? ' ' 

" I 'm not going to have any of your horrid 
New England directness, cousin," said St. Clare, 
gayly. " If I answer that question, I know you '11 
be at me with half a dozen others, each one harder 
than the last ; and I 'm not a going- to define my 
position. I am one of the sort that lives by 
throwing stones at other people's glass houses, 
but I never mean to put up one for them to 
stone." 

"That's just the way he's always talking," 
said^ Marie ; "you can't get any satisfaction out 
of him. I believe ir. 's just because he don't like 



This religious talk 



religion, that he 's always running out in this 
way he 's been doing." 

"Religion!" said St. Clare, in a tone that 
made both ladies look at him. "Religion! Is 
what you hear at church religion? Is that which 
can bend and turn, and descend and ascend, to fit 
every crooked phrase of selfish, worldly society, 
religion ? Is that religion which is less scrupu- 
lous, less generous, less just, less considerate for 
man, than even my own ungodly, worldly, blinded 
nature ? No ! When I.look for a religion, I must 
look for something above me, and not something 
beneath." 

" Then you don't believe that the Bible justifies 
slavery V' said Miss Ophelia. 

" The Bible was my mother's book," said St. 
Clare. " By it she lived and died, and I would 
be very sorry to think it did. I 'd as soon desire 
to have it proved that my mother could drink 
brandy, chew tobacco, and sw r ear, by way of satis- 
fying me that I did right in doing the same. It 
would n't make me at all more satisfied with 
these things in myself, and it would take from 
me the comfort of respecting her ; and it really is 
a comfort, in this world, to have anything one 
can respect. In short, you see," said he, sud- 
denly resuming his gay tone, " all I want is that 
different things be kept in different boxes. The 
whole frame-work of society, both in Europe and 
America, is made up of various things which will 
not stand the scrutiny of any very ideal standard 
of morality. It 's pretty generally understood 
that men don 't aspire after the absolute right, 
but only to do about as well as the rest of the 
world. Now, when any one speaks up, like a 
man, and says slavery is necessary to us, we can't 
get along without it, we should be beggared if 
we give it up, and, of course, we mean to hold on 
to it, — this is strong, clear, well-defined lan- 
guage ; it has the respectability of truth to it ; 
and if we may judge by their practice, the major- 
ity of the world will bear us out in it. But when 
he begins to put on a long face, and snuffle, and 
quote scripture, I incline to think he is n't much 
better than he should be." 

" You are very uncharitable," said Marie. 

" Well," said St. Clare, " suppose that some- 
thing should bring down the price of cotton once 
and forever, and make the whole slave property a 
drug in the market, don't you think we should 
soon have another version of the scripture doc- 
trine ? What a flood of light would pour into the 
church, all at once, and how immediately it would 
be discovered that everything in the Bible and 
reason went the other way !" 

" Well, at any rate," said Marie, as she re- 
clined herself on a lounge, " I 'm thankful I 'm 
born where slavery exists ; and I believe it 's 
right, — indeed, I feel it must be ; and, at any 
rate, I'm sure I couldn't get along without 
it." 

' I say, what do you think, Pussy?" said her 
father to Eva, who came in at this moment, with 
a flower in her hand. 

■* What about, papa?" 

" Why, which do you like the best, — to liv© 
as they do at your uncle's, up in Vermont, or to 
have a house-full of servants, as we do?" 

" O, of course, our way is the pleasantest, * 
said Eva. 

" Why so?" said St. Clare, stroking her head. 

" Why, it makes so many more round you to 
love, you know," said Eva, looking up earnestly. 



72 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN I OR, 



" Now, that's just like Eva," said Marie; 
"just one of her odd speeches !" 

"Is it an odd speech, papa?" said Eva, whis- 
pcringly, as she got upon his knee. 

" Rather, as this world goes, Pussy," said St. 
Clare. " But where has my little Eva been, all 
dinner-time'?" 

" 0, I 've been up in Tom's room, hearing him 
ting, and Aunt Dinah gave me my dinner." 

" Hearing Tom sing, hey?" 

"0, yes ! he sings such beautiful things about 
the New Jerusalem, and bright angels, and the 
land of Canaan." 

" I dare say ; it 's better than the opera, is n't 
it?" 

" Yes. and he 's going to teach them to me." 

" Singing lessons, hey? — you are coming on." 

" Yes, he sings for me, and I read to him in 
my Bible ; and he explains what it means, you 
know." 

" On my word," said Marie, laughing, " that 
is the latest joke of the season !" 

" Tom is n't a bad hand, now, at explaining 
•cripture, I '11 dare swear," said St. Clare. 
" Tom has a natural genius for religion. I 
wanted the horses out early, this morning, and I 
stole up to Tom's cubiculum there, over the 
gtables, and there I heard him holding a meeting 
by himself; and, in fact, I haven't heard any- 
thing quite so savory as Tom's prayer, this some 
time. He put in for me, with a zeal that was 
quite apostolic." 

' ' Perhaps he guessed you were listening. I 've 
heard of that trick before." 

"If he did, he wasn't very politic; for he 
gave the Lord his opinion of me, pretty freely. 
Tom seemed to think there was decidedly room 
for improvement in me, and seemed very earnest 
that I should be converted." 

"I hope you'll lay it to heart," said Miss 
Ophelia. 

" I suppose you are much of the same opinion," 
said St. Clare. " Well, we shall see, — shan't 
we, Eva?" 



CHAPTER XVII. 



THE FREEMAN S DEFENCE. 



ThePwE was a gentle bustle at the Quaker house, 
as the afternoon drew to a close. Rachel Halli- 
day moved quistly to and fro, collecting from her 
household stores such needments as could be 
arranged in the smallest compass, for the wan- 
derers who were to go forth that night. The 
afternoon shadows stretched eastward, and the 
round red sun stood thoughtfully on the horizon, 
and his beams shone yellow and calm into the 
little bed-room where George and his wife were 
sitting. He was sitting with his child on his knee, 
and his wife's hand in his. Both looked thought- 
ful and serious, and traces of tears were on their 
cheeks. 

"Yes, Eliza," said George, "I know all you 
say is true. You are a good child, — a great 
deal better than I am ; and I will try to do as 
you say. I '11 try to act worthy of a free man. 
I '11 try to feel like a Christian. God Almighty 
knows that I 've meant to do well, — tried hard 
to do well, — when everything has been against 
me ; and now I '11 forget all the past, and put 
ftway every hard and bitter feeling, and read my 
Bible, and learn to be a good man." 



" And when we get to Canada," said Eliza 
"I can help you. I can do dress-making very 
well ; and I understand fine washing and ironing ; 
and between us we can find something to live 
on." 

" Yes, Eliza, so long as we have each other and 
our boy. ! Eliza, if these people only knew what 
a blessing it is for a man to feel that his wife and 
child belong to him ! I 've often wondered to see 
men that could call their wives and children their 
own fretting and worrying about anything else. 
Why, I feel rich and strong, though we have- 
nothing but our bare hands. I feel as if I could 
scarcely ask God for any more. Yes, though I 've 
worked hard every day, till I 'm twenty-five years 
old, and have not a cent of money, nor a roof to 
cover me, nor a spot of land to call my own, yet, 
if they will only let me alone now, I will be sat- 
isfied — thankful ; I will work, and send back the 
money for you and my boy. As to my old master, 
he has been paid five times over for all he ever 
spent for me. I don't owe him anything." 

" But yet we are not quite out of danger," 
said Eliza ; " we are not yet in Canada." 

" True," said George, " but it seems a3 if I 
smelt the free air, and it makes me strong." 

At this moment, voices were heard in the outer 
apartment, in earnest conversation, and very soon 
a rap was heard on the door. Eliza started and 
opened it. 

Simeon Halliday was there, and with him a 
Quaker brother, whom he introduced as Phineas 
Fletcher. Phineas was tall and lathy, red-haired, 
with an expression of great acuteness and shrewd- 
ness in his face. He had not the placid, quiet, 
unworldly air of Simeon Halliday ; on the contra- 
ry, a particularly wide-awake and aufait appear- 
ance, like a man who rather prides himself on 
knowing w r hat he is about, and keeping a bright 
look-out ahead ; peculiarities which sorted rather 
oddly with his broad brim and formal phraseology. 

" Our friend Phineas hath -discovered something 
of importance to the interests of thee and thy 
party, George," said Simeon ; " it were well for 
thee to hear it." 

" That I have," said Phineas, "and it shows 
the use of a man's always sleeping with one ear 
open, in certain places, as I 've always said. Last 
night I stopped at a little lone tavern, back on 
the road. Thee remembers the place, Simeon, 
where we sold some apples, last year, to that fat 
woman, with the great ear-rings. Well, I was 
tired with hard driving ; and, after my sapper, I 
stretched myself down on a pile of bags in the 
corner, and pulled a buffalo over me, to wait till 
my bed was ready ; and what does I do, but get 
fast asleep !" 

" With one ear open, Phineas?" said Simeon, 
quietly. 

" No ; I slept, ears and all, for an hour or two, 
for I was pretty well tired ; but when I came to 
myself a little, I found that there were; some men 
in the room, sitting round a table, drinking and 
talking ; and I thought, before I made much mus- 
ter, I 'd just see what they were up to, especially 
as I heard them say something about the Quakers. 
'So,' says one, ' they are up in the Quaker set- 
tlement, no doubt," says he. Then I listened 
with both ears, and I found that they were talking 
about this very party. So I lay and heard them 
lay off all their plans. This young man, they 
said, was to be sent back to Kentucky, to his 
master, who was going to make an example of 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



73 



him, to keep all niggers from running away ; and 
his wife two of them were going to run down to 
New Orleans to sell, on their own account, and 
thev caJ ulated to get sixteen or eighteen hundred 
dollars for her ; and the child, they said, was 
going to a trader, who had bought him ; and then 
there was the boy Jim, and his mother, they 
were to go back to their masters in Kentucky. 
They said that there were two constables, in a 
town a little piece ahead, who would go in with 
'em to get 'em taken up, and the young woman 
was to be taken before a jrdge ; and one of the 
fellows, who is small and <*LiOoth-spoken, was to 
swear to her for his property, and get her deliv- 
ered over to him to take south. They 've got a 
right notion of the track we are going to-night; 
and they 11 be down after us, six or eight strong. 
So, now, what 's to be done?'' 

The group that stood in various attitudes, after 
this communication, were worthy of a painter. 
Rachel Ilalliday, who had taken her hands out 
of a batch of biscuit, to hear the news, stood 
with them upraised and floury, and with a face 
of the deepest concern. Simeon looked pro- 
foundly thoughtful ; Eliza had thrown her arms 
around her husband, and was looking up to him. 
George stood with clenched hands and glowing 
6yes, and looking as any other man might look, 
whose wife was to be sold at auction, and son 
gent to a trader, all under the shelter of a Chris- 
tian nation's laws. 

"What shall we do, George?" said Eliza, 
faintly. 

" I know what I shall do," said George, as he 
itepped into the little room, and began examining 
his pistols. 

" Ay, ay." said Phineas, nodding his head to 
Simeon, " thou scest, Simeon, how it will work." 

"I see," said Simeon, sighing; "I pray it 
come not to that." 

" I don't want to involve any one with or for 
me," said George. " If you will lend me your 
vehicle and direct me, I will drive alone to the 
next stand. Jim is a giant in strength, and 
brave as death and despair, and so am I." 

" Ah, well, friend," said Phineas, " but thee '11 
need a driver, for all that. Thee 's quite wel- 
come to do all the fighting, thee knows ; but I 
know a thing or two about the road, that thee 
doesn't." 

"But I don't want to involve you," said 
George. 

" Involve," said Phineas, with a curious and 
keen expression of face. " When thee does in- 
volve me, please to let me know." 

" Phineas is a wise and skilful man," said 
Simeon. "Thee does well, George, to abide by 
his judgment ; and," he added, laying his hand 
kindly on George's shoulder, and pointing to the 

Eistois, "be not over hasty with these, — young 
lood is hot." 
" I will attack no man," said George. " All I 
ask of this country is to be let alone, and I will 
p;o out peaceably; but," — he paused, and his 
crow darkened and his nice worked, — " I 've 
had a sister sold in that New Orleans market. I 
know what they are sold for ; and am I going to 
stand by and see them take my wife and sell her, 
when God has given me a pair of strong arms to 
defend her ? No ; God help me ! I 11 fight to the 
last breath, before they shall take my wife and 
son . Can you blame me 1 ' ' 

" Mortal man cannot blame thee, George. 



Flesh and blood coull net do otherwise," said 
Simeon. "Woe unt> the world because of 
offences, but woe unto them through whom the 
offence cometh." 

" Would not even you, sir, do the same, in my 
place ? ' ' 

" t-pray that I be not tried," said Simeon ; "the 
flesh is weak." 

" I think my flesh would be pretty tolerable 
strong, in such a case," said Phineas, stretching 
out a pair of arms like the sails of a windmill. 
"I an't sure, friend George, that I shouldn't 
hold a fellow for thee, if thee had any accounts 
to settle with him." 

" If man should ever resist evil," said Simeon, 
" then George should feel free to do it now ; but 
the leaders of our people taught a more excellent 
way ; for the wrath of man worketh not the 
righteousness of God ; but it goes sorely against 
the corrupt will of man, and none can receive it 
save they to whom it is given. Let us pray the 
Lord that we be not tempted." 

" And so / do," said Phineas ; " but if we are 

tempted too much why, let them look out, 

that "sail!" 

" It 's quite plain thee was n't born a Friend," 
said Simeon, smiling. " The old nature hath its 
way in thee pretty strong as yet." 

To tell the truth, Phineas had been a hearty, 
two-fisted backwoodsman, a vigorous hunter, and 
a dead shot at a buck ; but, having wooed a pretty 
Quakeress, had been moved by the power of her 
charms to join the society in his neighborhood ; 
and though he was an honest, sober, and efficient 
member, and nothing particular could be alleged 
against him, yet the more spiritual among them 
could not but discern an exceeding lack of savor 
in his developments. 

"Friend Phineas will ever have ways of his 
own," said Rachel Halliday, smiling ; " but we all 
think that his heart is in the right place, after 
all." 

"Well," said George, " isn't it best that we 
hasten our flight ?" 

" I got up at four o'clock, and came on with all 
speed, full two or three hours ahead of them, if 
they start at the time they planned. It is n't safe 
to start till dark, at any rate ; for there are some 
evil persons in the villages ahead, that might be 
disposed to meddle with us, if they saw our wagon, 
and that would delay us more than the waiting ; 
but in two hours I think we may venture. I will 
go over to Michael Cross, and engage him to come 
behind on his swift nag, and keep a bright look- 
out on the road, and warn us if any company of 
men come on. Michael keeps a horse that can 
soon get ahead of most other horses ; and he could 
shoot ahead and let us know, if there were any 
danger. I am going out now to warn Jim and 
the old woman to be in readiness, and to see about 
the horse. We have a pretty fair start, and stand 
a good chance to get to the stand before they can 
come up with us. So, have good courage, friend 
George ; this is n't the first ugly scrape that I 've 
been in with thy people," said Phineas, as lie 
closed the door. 

" Phineas is pretty shrewd," said Simeon. " He 
will do the best that can be done for thee, George." 

" All I am sorry for," said George, " is the risk 
to you." 

" Thee '11 much oblige us, friend George, to say 
no more about that. What we do we are con- 
science bound to do; we can do no other way. 



74 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN .* OR, 



And now, mother," said he, turning to Rachel, 
"hurry thy preparations for these friends, for we 
must not send them away fasting." 

And while Rachel and her children were busy 
making corn-cake, and cooking ham and chicken, 
and hurrying on the et ccteras of the evening meal, 
George and his wife sat in their little room, with 
their arms folded about each other, in such talk as 
husband and wife have when they know that a few 
hours may part them forever. 

" Eliza*" said George, " people that have 
friends, and houses, and lands, and money, and 
all those things, can't love as we do, who have 
nothing but each other. Till I knew you, Eliza, 
no creature ever had loved me, but my poor, 
heart-broken mother and sister. I saw poor Emily 
that morning the trader carried her off. She came 
to the corner where I was lying asleep, and said, 
* Poor George, your last friend is going. What 
will become of you, poor boy?' And I got up and 
threw my arms round her, and cried and sobbed, 
and she cried too ; and those were the last kind 
words I got for ten long years ; and my heart all 
withered up, and felt as dry as ashes, till I met 
'you. And your loving me, — why, it was almost 
like raising one fr#m the dead ! I 've been a new 
man ever since ! And now, Eliza, I *11 give my 
last drop of blood, but the}' shall not take you from 
me. Whoever gets you must walk over my dead 
body." 

"0 Lord, have mercy!" said Eliza, sobbing. 
" If he will only let us get out of this country 
together, that is all we ask." 

" Is God on their side ?" said George, speaking 
less to his wife than pouring out his own bitter 
thoughts. " Does he see all they do ? Why does 
he let such things happen * And they tell us that 
the Bible is on their side ; certainly all the power 
is. They are rich, and healthy, and happy ; they 
are members of churches, expecting to go to 
heaven ; and they get along so easy in the world, 
and have it all their own way ; and poor, honest, 
faithful Christians, — Christians as good or better 
than they, — are lying in the very dust under 
their feet. They buy 'era and sell 'em, and make 
trade of their hearts' blood, and groans and tears, 
— and God lets them." 

'.' Friend George," said Simeon, from the kitch- 
en, " listen to this Psalm ; it may do thee good." 

George drew his seat near the door, and Eliza, 
wiping her tears, came forward also to listen, while 
Simeon read as follows : 

44 But as for me, my feet were almost gone ; my 
eteps had well-nigh slipped. For I was envious 
of the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the 
wicked. They are not in trouble like other men, 
neither are they plagued like other men. There- 
fore, pride compasseth them as a chain ; violence 
covereth them as a garment. Their eyes stand 
out with fitness ; they have more than heart could 
wish. They are corrupt, and speak wickedly con- 
cerning oppression ; they speak loftily. Therefore 
his people return, and the waters of a full cup 
are wrung out of them, and they say, How doth 
God know? and is there knowledge in the Most 
High?" 

" Is not that the way thee feels, George?" 

" It is so, indeed," said George, — " as well as 
I could have written it myself." 

" Then, hear," said Simeon : " When I thought 
to know "-.his, it was too painful for me until I 
went unt ) the sanctuary of God. Then understood 



I their end. Surely thou didst set them in slippery 
places, thou castedst them down to destruction. 
As a dream when one awaketh, so, Lord, when 
thou awakest, thou shylt despise their image* 
Nevertheless, I am continually with thee ; thou 
hast holden me by my right hand. Thou shah 
guide me by thy counsel, and afterwards receive 
me to glory. It is good for me to draw near unto 
God. I have put my trust in the Lord God." 

The words of holy trust, breathed by the friendly 
old man, stole like sacred music over the harassed 
and chafed spirit of George ; and after he ceased, 
he sat with a gentle and subdued expression on 
his fine features. 

11 If this world were all, George," said Simeon., 
"thee might, indeed, ask, Where is the Lord? 
But it is often those who have least of all in this 
life whom he chooseth for the kingdom. Put thy 
trust in Him, and, no matter what befalls thee 
here, he will make all right hereafter." 

If these words had been spoken by some easy, 
self-indulgent exhorter, from whose mouth they 
might have come merely as pious and rhetorical 
flourish, proper to be used to people in distress, 
perhaps they might not have had much effect ; but 
coming from one who daily and calmly risked fine 
and imprisonment for the cause of God and man, 
they had a weight that could not but be felt, and 
both the poor, desolate fugitives found calmness 
and strength breathing into them from it. 

And now Rachel took Eliza's hand kindly, and 
led the way to the supper-table. As they were 
sitting down, a light tap sounded at the door* 
and Ruth entered. 

"I just ran in," she said, "with these littlp 
stockings for the boy, — three pair, nice, warm 
woollen ones. It will be so cold, thee knows, in 
Canada ! Does thee keep up good courage,, 
Eliza?" she added, tripping round to Eliza's side 
of the table, and shaking her warmly by the 
hand, and slipping a seed-cake into Harry's hand. 
" I brought a little parcel of these for him," she 
said, tugging at her pocket to get out the pack- 
age. " Children, thee knows, will always be 
eating." 

" O, thank you ; you are too kind," said Eliza* 

" Come, Ruth, sit down to supper," said 
Rachel. 

" I couldn't, any way. I left John with the 
baby, and some biscuits in the oven ; and I can't 
stay a moment, else John will burn up all the 
biscuits, and give the baby all the sugar in the 
boAvl. That 's the way he does," said the little 
Quakeress, laughing. " So, good-hy, Eliza ; 
good-by, George ; the Lord grant thee a safe 
journey," and, with a few tripping steps, Ruth 
w T as out of the apartment. 

A little while after supper, a large covered 
Avagon drew up before the door ; the night was 
clear star-light ; and Phineas jumped briskly 
down from his seat to arrange his passengers* 
George walked out of the door, with his child on 
one arm and hi's wife on the other. His step was 
firm, his face settled and resolute. Rachel and 
Simeon came out after them. 

"You get out a moment," said Phineas to 
those inside, " and let me fix the back of the 
wagon, there, for the women-folks and boy." 

"Here are two buffaloes" said RacheL 
" Make the seats as comfortable as may be ; it 's 
hard riding all night." 

Jim came out first, and carefully assisted out 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



75 



Lis old mother, who clung to his arm, and looked 
anxiously about, as if she expected the pursuer 
every moment. 

"Jim, are your pistols all in order 1" said 
(george, in a low, firm voice. 

" Yes, indeed, "' said Jim. 

" And you 'vc no doubt what you shall do, if 
Chey come ?" 

" I rather think T have n't," said Jim, throwing 
Open his broad chest, and taking a deep breath. 
** Do you think I '11 let them get mother again?" 

During this brief colloquy, Eliza had been tak- 
ing her leave of her kind friend, Rachel, and was 
handed into the carriage by Simeon, and, creep- 
ing into the bark part with her boy, sat down 
among the buffalo-skins. The old woman was 
next handed in and seated, and George and 
Jim placed on a rough board scat front of them, 
and Phineas mounted in front. 

" Farewell, my friends," said Simeon, from 
without. 

" God bless you !" answered all from within. 

And the wagon drove off, rattling and jolting 
<iyer the frozen road. 

There was no opportunity for conversation, on 
account of the roughness of the way and the noise 
of the wheels. The vehicle, therefore, rumbled 
On, through long, dark stretches of woodland, — 
Over wide, dreary plains, — up hills, and down 
valleys, — and on, on, on they jogged, hour after 
hour. The child soon fell asleep, and lay heavily 
In his mother's lap. The poor, frightened old 
woman at last forgot her fears ; and even Eliza, 
as the night waned, found all her anxieties insuf- 
ficient to keep her eyes from closing. Phineas 
seemed, on the whole, the briskest of the com- 
pany, and beguiled his long drive with whistling 
certain very unquaker-like songs, as he went on. 

But about three o'clock George's ear caught 
the hasty and decided click of a horse's hoof com- 
ing behind them at some distance, and jogged 
Phineas by the elbow. Phineas pulled up his 
horses, and listened. 

" That must be Michael," he said ; " I think I 
know the sound of his gallop ;" and he rose up 
and stretched his head anxiously back over the 
road. 

A man riding in hot haste was now dimly de- 
scried at the top of a distant hill. 

"There he is, I do believe!" said Phineas. 
George and Jim both sprang out of the wagon, 
before they knew what they were doing. £N 
rftood intensely silent, with their faces turned 
towards the expected messenger. On he came. 
Now he went down into a valley, where they 
Gould not see him ; but they heard the sharp, 
hasly tramp, rising nearer and nearer ; at last 
th6y saw hiin emerge on the top of an eminence, 
within hail. 

" Yes, that 's Michael!" said Phineas; and, 
raising his voice, " Hulloa, there, Michael !" 

" Phineas ! is that thee V 

" Yes ; Avhat news — they coming V 

" Right on behind, eight or ten of them, hot 
"rtrith brandy, swearing and foaming like so many 
wolves." 

And, just as he spoke, a breeze brought the 
faint sound of galloping horsemen towards them. 

" In with you, — quick, boys, in .'" said Phin- 
eas. " If you must fight, wait till I get you a 
piece ahead." And, with the word, both jumped 
in, and Phineas lashed the horses to a run, the 
tiojcseman keeping close beside them. The wagon 



rattled, jumped, almost flew, over the frozen 
ground ; but plainer, and still plainer, came tho 
noise of pursuing horsemen behind. Tho women 
heard it, and, looking anxiously out, saw, far in 
the rear, on the brow of a distant hill, a party of 
men looming up against the red-streaked sky of 
early dawn. Another hill, and their pursuers 
had evidently caught sight of their wagon, whose 
white cloth-covered top made it conspicuous at 
some distance, and a loud yell of brutal triumph 
came forward on the wind. Eliza sickened, and 
strained her child closer to her bosom ; the old 
woman prayed and groaned, and George and Jim 
clenched their pistols with the grasp of despair. 
The pursuers gained on them fast ; the carriage 
made a sudden turn, and brought th,em near a 
ledge of a steep overhanging rock, that rose in an 
isolated ridge ov clump in a large lot, which was, 
all around it, quite clear and smooth. This iso- 
lated pile, or range of rocks, rose up black and 
heavy against the brightening sky, and seemed 
to prqmise shelter and concealment. It was a 
place well known to Phineas, who had been 
familiar with the spot in his hunting days ; and 
it was to'gain this point he had been racing his 
horses. 

" Now for it !" said he, suddenly checking his 
horses, and springing from his seat to the ground. 
" Out with you, in a twinkling, every one, and 
up into these rocks with me. Michael, thee tie 
thy horse to the wagon, and drive ahead to Am- 
ariah's, and get him and his boys to come back 
and talk to these fellows." 

In a twinkling they were all out of the car- 
riage. 

" There," said Phineas, catching up Harry, 
" you, each of you, see to the women ; and run, 
now, if you ever did run !" 

There needed no exhortation. Quicker than 
we can say it, the whole party were over the 
fence, making with all speed for the rocks, while 
Michael, throwing himself from his horse, and 
fastening the bridle to the wagon, began driving 
it rapidly away. 

" Come ahead," said Phineas, as they reached 
the rocks, and saw, in the mingled starlight and 
dawn, the traces of a rude but plainly marked 
foot-path leading up among them ; " this is one 



of our old hunting-dens. Come up 



i" 



Phineas went before, springing up the rocks 
like a goat, with the boy in his arms. Jim came 
second, bearing his trembling old mother over his 
shoulder, and George and Eliza brought up the 
rear. The party of horsemen came up to the 
fence, and, with mingled shouts and oaths, were 
dismounting, to prepare to follow them. A few 
moments' scrambling brought them to the top of 
the ledge : the path then passed between a nar- 
row defile, where only one could walk at a time, 
till suddenly they came to a rift or chasm more 
than a yard in breadth, and beyond which lay a 
pile of rocks, separate from the rest of the ledge, 
standing full thirty feet high, with its sides steep 
and perpendicular as those of a castle. Phineas 
easily leaped the chasm, and sat down the boy on 
a smooth, flat platform of crisp white moss, that 
covered the top of the rock. 

"Over with you!" he called; "spring, now, 
once, for your lives ! " said he, as one after another 
sprang across. Several fragments of loose stone 
formed a kind of breast-work, which sheltered 
their position from the observation of those be- 
low. 



76 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR, 



" Well, here we all arc," said Phineas, peep- 
ing over the stone breast-work to watch the as- 
sailants, who were coining tumultuously up under 
the rocks. " Let 'em get us, if they can. Who- 
ever comes here has to walk single file between 
those two rocks, in fair range of your pistols, 
boys, d'ye see?" 

" I do see," said George ; " and now, as this 
matter is ours, let us take all the risk, and do all 
the fighting." 

" Thee 's quite welcome to do the fighting, 
George," said Phineas, chewing some checker- 
berry-leaves as he spoke ; " but I may have the 
fun of looking on, I suppose. But see, these fel- 
lows are kinder debating down there, and looking 
up, like hens when they are going to fly up on to 
the roost. Hadn't thee better give 'em a word 
of advice, before they come up, just to tell 'em 
handsomely they '11 be shot if they do?" 

The party beneath, now more apparent in the 
light of the dawn, consisted of our old acquaint- 
ances, Tom Loker and Marks, with two con- 
stables, and a posse consisting of such rowdies at 
the last tavern as could be engaged by a little 
brandy to go and help the fun of trapping a set 
of niggers. 

" Well, Tom, yer coons are farly treed," said 
one. 

" Yes, I see 'em go up right here," said Tom ; 
" and here's a path. I'm for going right up. 
They can't jump down in a hurry, and it won't 
take long to ferret 'em out." 

" But, Tom, they might fire at us from behind 
the rocks," said Marks. " That would be ugly, 
you know." 

"Ugh!" said Tom, with a sneer. "Always 
for saving your skin, Marks ! No danger ! nig- 
gers are too plaguy scared!" 

" I don't know why I shouldn't save my skin," 
said Marks. " It's the best I've got; and nig- 
gers do fight like the devil, sometimes." 

At this moment, George appeared on the top 
of a rock above them, and, speaking in a calm, 
clear voice, said, 

" Gentlemen, who are you, down there, and 
what do you want?" 

" We want a party of runaway niggers," said 
Tom Loker. " One George Harris, and Eliza Har- 
ris, and their son, and Jim Selden, and an old 
woman. Wo 've got the officers, here, and a 
warrant to take 'em ; and we 're going to have 
'em, too. D' ye hear? An't you George Harris, 
that belongs to Mr. Harris, of Shelby county, 
Kentucky?" 

" I am George Harris. A Mr. Harris, of Ken- 
tucky, did call me his property. But now I 'm a 
free man, standing on God's free soil ; and my 
wife and my child I claim as mine. Jim and his 
mother are here. We have arms to defend our- 
selves, and we mean to do it. You can come up, 
if you like ; but the first one of you that comes 
within the range of our bullets is a dead man, 
and the next, and the next; and so on till the 
last." 

"0, come, come!" said a short, puffy man, 
stepping forward, and blowing his nose as he did 
So. " Young man, this an't no kind of talk at 
all for you. You see, we 're officers of justice. 
We 've got the law on our side, and the power, 
and so forth ; so you 'd better give up peaceably, 
you see ; for you '11 certainly have to give up, at 
last." 

" I know very well that you 've got the law on 



your side, and the power," said George, bitterly, 
"You mean to take my wife to sell in New 
Orleans, and put my boy like a calf in a trader's 
pen, and send Jim's old mother to the brute 
that whipped and abused her before, because ho 
couldn't abuse her son. You Avant to send Jim 
and me back to be whipped and tortured, and 
ground down under the heels of them that you 
call masters ; and your laws will bear you out in 
it, — more shame for you and them! But you 
haven't got us. We don't own your laws; wo 
don't own your country ; we stand here as free, 
under God's sky, as you are ; and, by the great 
God that made us, we '11 fight for our liberty till 
we die." 

George stood out in fair sight, on the top of 
the rock, as he made his declaration of independV 
ence ; the glow of dawn gave a flush to his 
swarthy cheek, and bitter indignation and de- 
spair gave fire to his dark eye ; and, as if appeal* 
ing from man to the justice of God, he raised his 
hand to heaven as he spoke. 

If it had been only a Hungarian youth, now 
bravely defending in some mountain fastness the 
retreat of fugitives escaping from Austria into 
America, this would have been sublime heroism: 
but, as it was a youth of African descent, defend- 
ing the retreat of fugitives through America into 
Canada, of course we are too well instructed and 
patriotic to see any heroism in it ; and if any of 
our readers do, they must do it on their own 
private responsibility. When despairing Hun- 
garian fugitives make their way, against all the 
search-warrants and authorities of their lawful 
government, to America, press and political cab- 
inet ring with applause and welcome. When 
despairing African fugitives do the same thing, 
— it is — what is it? 

Be it as it may, it is certain that the attitude, 
eye, voice, manner, of the speaker, for a moment 
struck the party below to silence. There is some- 
thins: in boldness and determination that for a 
time hushes even the rudest nature. Marks was 
the only one who remained wholly untouched. 
He was deliberately cocking his pistol, and, in 
the momentary silence that followed George's 
speech, he fired at him. 

" Ye see ye get jist as much for him dead as 
alive in Kentucky," he said, coolly, as he wiped 
his pistol on his coat-sleeve. 

George sprang backAvard, — Eliza ut ered a 
shriek/ — the ball had passed closa to his hair, 
had nearly grazed the cheek of his Avife, and 
struck in the tree above. 

" It *s nothing, Eliza," said George, quickly. 

" Thee 'd better keep out of sight, with thy 
speechifying," said Phineas ; " they 're mean 
scamps." 

" Noav, Jim," said George, "look that your 
pistols are all right, and watch that pass with me. 
The first man that shows himself I fro at ; you 
take the second, and so on. It won't do, you 
know, to waste two shots on one." 

" But what if you don't hit?" 

" I shall hit," said George, coolly. 

" Good ! now. there 's stuff in that fellow, 5 * 
muttered Phineas, between his teeth. 

The party below, after Marks had fired, stood, 
for a moment, rather undecided. 

"I think you must have hit some on 'em," 
said one of the men. " I heard a squeal !" 

" I 'm going right up, for one," said Tom. " I 
neA T er was afraid of niggers, and 1 an't gjing to 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



77 



be now. Who goes after?" he said, springing 
up the rocks. 

George heard the words distinctly. lie drew 
up his pistol, examined it, pointed it towards 

that point in the deiile where the first man would 
appear. 

One of the most courageous of the party fol- 
lowed Tom, and, the way being thus made, the 
whole party began pushing up the rock, — the 
hindermost* pushing the front ones faster than 
they would have gone of themselves. On they 
came, and in a moment the burly form of Tom 
appeared in sight, almost at the verge of the 
Chasm. 

George fired, — the shot entered his side, — 
but, though wounded, he would not retreat, but, 
with a yell like that of a mad bull, he was leap- 
ing right across the chasm into the party. 

" Friend," said Phincas, suddenly stepping to 
the front, and meeting him with a push from his 
long arms. " thee is n't wanted here." 
' Down he fell into the chasm, crackling down 
among trees, bushes, logs, loose stones, till he 
lay, bruised and groaning, thirty feet below. 
The fall might have killed him, had it not been 
broken and moderated by his clothes catching in 
the branches of a large tree ; but he came down 
with some force, however, — more than was at 
all agreeable or convenient. 

"Lord help us, they are perfect devils!" said 
Marks, heading the retreat down the rocks with 
much more of a will than he had joined the as- 
cent, while all the party came tumbling precipi- 
tately after him, — the fat constable, in partic- 
ular, blowing and puffing in a very energetic 
manner. 

"I say, fellers," said Marks, "you jist go 
round and pick up Tom, there, while I run and 
get on to my horse, to go back for help, — that 's 
you;" and, without minding the hootings and 
jeers of his company, Marks was as good as his 
word, and was soon seen galloping away. 

" AVas ever such a sneaking varmint 1 ?" said 
one of the men ; " to come on his business, and 
he clear out and leave us this yer way !" 

" Well, we must pick up that feller," said an- 
other. " Cuss me if I much care whether he is 
dead or alive." 

The men, led by the groans of Tom, scrambled 
and crackled through stumps, logs and bushes, to 
where that hero lay groaning and swearing, with 
alternate vehemence. 

"Ye keep -it agoing pretty loud, Tom," said 
one. " Ye much hurt?" 

" Don't know. Get me up, can't ye? Blast 
that infernal Quaker ! If it had n't been for him, 
I 'd a pitched some on 'em down here, to see how 
they liked it." 

With much labor and groaning, the fallen hero 
was assisted to rise ; and, with one holding him 
up under each shoulder, they got him as far as 
the horses. 

" If you could only get me a mile back to that 
ar tavern. Give me a handkerchief or some- 
thing, to stuff into this place, and stop this in- 
fernal bleeding." 

George looked over the rocks, and saw them 
trying to lift the burly form of Tom into the sad- 
dle. After two or three ineffectual attempts, he 
reeled, and fell heavily to the ground. 

"0,1 hope he is n't killed !" said Eliza, who, 
with all the party, stood watching the pro- 
ceeding 



" Why not?" said Phineas ; "serves him 
right." 

" Becauso after death comes the judgment," 
said Eliza. 

" Yes," said the old woman, who had been 
groaning and praying, in her Methodist fashion, 
during all the encounter, " it "s an awful case for 
the poor erittur's soul." 

" On my word, they 're leaving him, 1 do be- 
lieve," said Phineas. 

It was true ; for after some appearance of ir- 
resolution and consultation, the whole party got 
on their horses and rode away. When they 
were quite out of sight, Phineas began to bestir 
himself. 

" Well, we must go down and walk a piece," 
he said. " I told Michael to go forward and 
bring help, and be along back here with the 
wagon ; but we shall have to walk a piece along 
the road, I reckon, to meet them. The Lord 
grant he be along soon ! It 's early in the day ; 
there won't be much travel afoot yet awhile; 
we an't much more than two miles from our 
stopping-place. If the road hadn't been so 
rough last night, we could have outrun 'em 
entirely." 

As the party neared the fence, they discovered 
in the distance, along the road, their own wagon 
coming back, accompanied by some men on horse- 
back. 

" Well, now, there 's Michael, and Stephen, 
and Amariah," exclaimed Phineas, joyfully. 
" Now we are made, — as safe as if we'd got 
there." 

" Well, do stop, then," said Eliza, "and do 
something for that poor man ; he 's groaning 
dreadfully." 

" It would be no more than Christian," said 
George ; "let 's take him up and carry him on." 

"And doctor him up among the Quakers!" 
said Phineas; "pretty well, that! Well, I 
don't care if we do. Here, let 's have a look at 
him ;" and Phineas, who, in the course of his 
hunting and backwoods life, had acquired some 
rude experience of surgery, kneeled down by the 
wounded man, 
of his condition 

" Marks," said Tom, feebly, "is 
Marks?" 

"No; I reckon 'tan't, friend," said Phineas. 
" Much Marks cares for thee, if his own skin 's 
safe. He 's off, long ago." 

" I believe I 'm done for," said Tom. "The 
cussed sneaking dog, to leave me to die alone ! 
My poor old mother always told me 'twould bo 
so." 

" La sakes ! jist hear the poor crittur. He 'a 
got a mammy, now," said the old negress. "I 
can't help kinder pityin' on him." 

"Softly, softly; don't thee snap and snarl, 
friend," said Phineas, as Tom winced and pushed 
his hand away. " Thee has no chance, unless I 
stop the bleeding." And Phineas busied him- 
self with making some off-hand surgical arrange- 
ments with his own pocket-handkerchief, and 
such as could be mustered in the company. 

" You pushed me down there," said Tom, 
faintly. 

" Well, if I had n\ thee would have pushed us 
down, thee sees," said Phineas, as he stooped to 
apply his bandage. " There, there, — let me fix 
this bandage. We mean well to thee ; ws bear 
no malice. Thee shall be taken to a house when 



and began a careful examination 



that 



you* 



78 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR, 



they '11 nurse thee first rate, — as well as thy own 
mother could." 

Tom groaned, and shut his eyes. In men of 
his class, vigor and resolution are entirely a 
physical matter, and ooze out with the flowing 
of the blood ; and the gigantic fellow really 
looked piteous in his helplessness. 

The other party now came up. The seats 
were taken out of the wagon. The buffalo-skins, 
doubled in fours, were spread all along one side, 
and four men, with great difficulty, lifted the heavy 
form of Tom into it. Before he was gotten in, 
he fainted entirely. The old negress, in the 
abundance of her compassion, sat down on the 
bottom, and took his head in her lap. Eliza, 
George and Jim, bestowed themselves, as well as 
they could, in the remaining space, and the 
whole party set forward. 

"What do vou think of him?" said George, 
who sat by Phineas in front. 

"Well, it's only a pretty deep flesh-wound ; 
but, then, tumbling and scratching down that 
place did n't help him much. It has bled pretty 
freely, — pretty much dreaned him out, courage 
and all, — but he '11 get over it, and may be learn 
a thing or two by it." 

" I 'm glad to hear you say so," said George. 
*' It would always be a heavy thought to me, if 
I 'd caused his death, even in a just cause." 

"Yes," said Phineas, "killing is an ugly 
operation, any way they'll fix it, — man or 
beast. I 've been a great hunter, in my day, and 
I tell thee I 've seen a buck that was shot down, 
and a dying, look that way on a feller with his 
eye, that it reely most made a feller feel wicked 
for killing on him ; and human creatures is a 
more serious consideration yet, bein', as thy 
wife says, that the judgment comes to 'em after 
death. So I don't know as our people's notions 
on these matters is too strict; and, considerin' 
how I was raised, I fell in with them pretty con- 
siderably." 

" What shall you do with this poor fellow?" 
said George. 

" 0, carry him along to Amariah's. There 's 
old Grandmam Stephens there, — Dorcas, they 
call her, — she's most an amazin' nurse. She 
takes to nursing real natural, and an't never 
better suited than when she gets a sick body to 
tend. We may reckon on turning him over to 
her far a fortnight or so." 

A ride of about an hour more brought the 
party to a neat farm-house, where the weary 
travellers were received to an abundant breakfast. 
Tom Loker was soon carefully deposited in a much 
cleaner and softer bed than he had ever been in 
the habit of occupying. His wound was care- 
fully dressed and bandaged, and he lay languidly 
opening and shutting his eyes on the white 
window-curtains and gently-gliding figures of his 
sick room, like a weary child. And here, for the 
present, we shall take our leave of one party. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

hiss Ophelia's experiences and opinions. 

Our friend Tom, in his own simple musings, 
tfften compared his more fortunate lot, in the 
bondage into which he was cast, with that of 
Joseph in Egypt ; and, in fact, as time went on, 
and ho developed moro and nioro under tho oyo 



of his master, the strength of the parallel J* 
creased. 

St. Clare was indolent and careless of money. 
Hitherto the providing and marketing had been 
principally done by Adolph, who was, to the full* 
as careless and extravagant as his master ; and,, 
between them both, they had carried on the dis* 
persing process with great alacrity. Accustomed, 
for many years, to regard his master's property 
as his own care, Tom saw, with an uneasiness h© 
could scarcely repress, the wasteful expenditure 
of the establishment ; and, in the quiet, indirect 
way which his class often acquire, would some* 
times make his own suggestions. 

St. Clare at first employed him occasionally ; 
but, struck with his soundness of mind and good 
business capacity, he confided in him more and 
more, till gradually all the marketing and providr 
ing for the family were intrusted td him. 

" No, no, Adolph," he said, one day, as Adolph 
was deprecating the passing of power out of hip 
hands ; "let Tom alone. You only understand 
what you want ; Tom understands cost and comp 
to ; and there may be some end to money, byo 
and bye, if we don't let somebody do that." 

Trusted to an unlimited extent by a careless 
master, who handed him a bill without looking 
at it, and pocketed the change without counting 
it, Tom had every facility and temptation to dis- 
honesty ; and nothing but an impregnable sim> 
plicity of nature, strengthened by Christian faith, 
could have kept him from it. But, to that nature, 
the very unbounded trust reposed in him was bond 
and seal for the most scrupulous accuracy. 

With Adolph the case had been different 
Thoughtless and self-indulgent, and unrestrained 
by a master who found it easier to indulge than 
to regulate, he had fallen into an absolute con- 
fusion as to meum tuum with regard to himself 
and his master, which sometimes troubled even 
St. Clare. His own good sense taught him thai 
such a training of his servants was unjust and 
dangerous. A sort of chronic remorse went with 
him everywhere, although not strong enough tc> 
make any decided change in his course ; and this. 
very remorse reacted again into indulgence. H& 
passed lightly over the most serious faults, bo- 
cause he told himself that, if he had done his 
part, his dependents had not fallen into them. 

Tom regarded his gay, airy, handsome young 
master with an odd mixture of fealty, reverence, 
and fatherly solicitude. That he never read tho 
Bible ; never went to church ; that he jested and 
made free with any and every thing that came in 
the way of his wit ; that he spent his Sunday 
evenings at the opera or theatre ; that he went 
to wine parties, and clubs, and suppers, oftener 
than was at all expedient, — were all things thai 
Tom could see as plainly as anybody, and on 
which he based a conviction that " Mas'r wasn't 
a Christian ;" — a conviction, however, which h& 
would have been very slow to express to any one 
else, but on which he founded many prayers, in 
his own simple fashion, when he was by himself 
in his little dormitory. Not that Tom had not 
his own way of speaking his mind occasionally, 
with something of the tact often observable in his 
class ; as, for example, the very day after the 
Sabbath we have described, St. Clare was invited 
out to a convivial party of choice spirits, and vyas 
helped home, between one and two o'clock at 
night, in a condition when the physical had de- 
cidedly attained the upper hand of the intellectual. 



LIFE AMONd THE LOWLY. 



79 



Tom and Adolpb assisted to get him composed 
for the illicit, the latter in high spirits, evidently 
regarding the matter as a good joke, and laugh- 
ing heartily at the rusticity of Tom's horror, who 
really was simple enough to lie awake most of 
the rest of the night, praying for his young mas- 
tar. 

14 Well, Tom, what are you waiting for 7 " said 
St. Clare, the next day. as he sat in his library, 
in dressing-gown and slippers. St. Clare had 
just been intrusting Tom with some money, and 
various commissions. "Isn't all right there, 
Tom?" ho added, as Tom still stood waiting. 

"I'm 'fraid not, Mas'r," said Tom, with a 
grave face. 

St. Clare laid down his paper, and set down 
his coffee-cup, and looked at Tom. 

" Why, Tom, what 's the case? You look as 
solemn as a coffin." 

" I feel very bad, Mas'r. I allays have thought 
fliat Mas'r would be good to everybody.'' 

• Well, Tom, haven't I been? Come, now, 
what do you want? There 's something you 
have n't got, I suppose, and this is the preface." 

"Mas'r allays been good tome. I haven't 
nothing to complain of, on that head. But there 
is one that Mas'r is n't good to." 

"Why, Tom, what's got into you? Speak 
out ; what do you mean !" 

" Last night, between one and two, I thought 
so. I studied upon the matter then. Mas'r 
is n't good to himself.' 1 '' 

Tom said this with his back to his master, and 
his hand on the door-knob. St. Clare felt his 
(ace flush crimson, but he laughed. 

"0, that's all, is it?" he said, gayly. 

" All ! " said Tom, turning suddenly round and 
falling on his knees. " 0, my dear young Mas'r ! 
I'm 'fraid it will be loss of all — all — body and 
soul. The good Book says, 'it biteth like a 
serpent and stingeth liko an adder I' my dear 
Mas'r!" 

Tom's voice choked, and the tears ran down his 
<lhceks. 

"You poor, silly fool!" said St, Clare, with 
tears in his own eyes. " Get up, Tom. I 'm not 
worth crying over." 

But Tom would n't rise, and looked imploring. 

" Well, I won't go to any more of their cursed 
nonsense, Tom," said St. Clare; " on my honor, 
I won't. I don't know why I haven't stopped 
long ago. I've always. despised it, and myself 
for it, — so now, Tom, wipe up your eyes, and go 
about your errands. Come, come," he added, 
** no blessings. I 'm not so wonderfully good, 
now," he said, as he gently pushed Tom to the 
door. "There, I'll pledge my honor to you, 
Tom, you don't see me so again," he said ; and 
Tom went off, wiping his eyes, with great satis- 
faction. 

"I'll keep my faith with him, too," said St. 
Glare, as he closed the door. 

And St. Clare did so, — for gross sensualism, 
in any form, was not the peculiar temptation of 
bis nature. 

But, all this time, who shall detail the tribula- 
tions manifold of our friend Miss Ophelia, who 
Ijad begun the labors of a Southern housekeeper 1 

There is all the difference in the world in the 
servants of Southern establishments, according to 
the character and capacity of the mistresses who 
have brought them up. 

South as well as north there are women who 



have an extraordinary talent for command, and 
tact in educating. Such arc enabled, with ap- 
parent case, and without severity, to subject to 
their will, and bring into harmonious and system- 
atic order, the various members of their small 
estate, — to regulate their peculiarities, and so 
balance and compensate the deficiencies of one by 
the excess of another, as to produce a harmonious 
and orderly system. 

Such a housekeeper was Mrs. Shelby, whom we 
have already described ; and such our readers 
may remember to have met with. If they are 
not common at the South, it is because they aro 
not common in the world. They arc to be found 
there as often as anywhere ; and, when existing, 
find in that peculiar state of society a brilliant 
opportunity to exhibit their domestic talent. 

Such a housekeeper Marie St. Clare was not, 
nor her mother before her. Indolent and childish, 
unsystematic and improvident, it was not to bo 
expected that servants trained under her care 
should not be so likewise; and she had very 
justly described to Miss Ophelia the state of con- 
fusion she would find in the family, though sho 
had not ascribed it to the proper cause. 

The first morning of her regency, Miss Ophelia 
was up at four o'clock ; and having attended to 
all the adjustments of her own chamber, as sho 
had done ever since she came there, to the great 
amazement of the chamber-maid, she prepared 
for a vigorous onslaught on the cupboards and 
closets of the establishment of which she had the 
keys. 

The store-room, the linen-presses, the china- 
closet, the kitchen and cellar, that day, all went 
under an awful review. Hidden things of dark- 
ness were brought to light to an extent that 
alarmed all the principalities and powers of 
kitchen and chamber, and caused many wonder- 
ings and murmurings about " dese ycr northern 
ladies " from the domestic cabinet. 

Old Dinah, the head cook, and principal of all 
rule and authority in the kitchen department, was 
filled with wrath at what she considered an inva- 
sion of privilege. No feudal baron in Magna 
Charta times could have more thoroughly resented 
some incursion of the crown. 

Dinah was a character in her own way. and it 
would be injustice to her memory not to give the 
reader a little idea of her. She was a native and 
essential cook, as much as AuntChloe, — cooking 
being an indigenous talent of the African race ; 
but Chloe was a trained and methodical one, who 
moved in an orderly domestic harness, while Di- 
nah was a self-taught genius, and, like geniuses 
in general, was positive, opinionated and erratic, 
to the last degree. 

Like a certain class of modern philosophers, 
Dinah perfectly scorned logic and reason in every 
shape, and always took refuge in intuitive cer- 
tainty ; and here she was perfectly impregnable. 
No possible amount of talent, or authority, or 
explanation, could ever make her believe that any 
other way was better than her own, or that the 
course she had pursued in the smallest matter 
could be in the least modified. This had been a 
conceded point with her old mistress, Marie's 
mother; and "Miss Marie," as Dinah always 
called her young mistress, even after her mar- 
riage, found it easier to submit than contend; 
and so Dinah had ruled supreme. This was tho 
easier, in that she was perfect mistress of that 
diplomatic art which unitas the utmost subserv- 



80 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR, 



ience of manner with the utmost inflexibility as 
to measure. 

Dinah was mistress of the whole art and mys- 
tery of excuse-making, in all its branches. In- 
deed, it was an axiom with her that the cook can 
do no wrong ; and a cook in a Southern kitchen 
finds abundance of heads and shoulders on which 
to lay off every sin and frailty, so as to maintain 
her own immaculateness entire. If any part of 
the dinner was a failure, there were fifty indis- 
putably good reasons for it ; and it was the fault 
undeniably of fifty other people, whom Dinah be- 
rated with unsparing zeal. 

Bat it was very seldom that there was any fail- 
ure in Dinah's last results. Though her mode of 
doing everything was peculiarly meandering and 
circuitous, and without any sort of calculation as 
to time and place, — though her kitchen generally 
looked as if it had been arrang3d by a hurricane 
blowing through it, and she had about as many 
places for each cooking utensil as there were days 
in the year, — yet, if one would have patience to 
wait her own good time, up would come her din- 
ner in perfect order, and in a style of preparation 
with which an epicure could find no fault. 

It was now the season of incipient preparation 
for dinner. Dinah, who required large intervals 
of reflection and repose, and was studious of 
ease in all her arrangements, was seated on the 
kitchen floor, smoking a short, stumpy pipe, to 
which she was much addicted, and which she 
always kindled up, as a sort of censer, whenever 
she felt the need of an inspiration in her arrange- 
ments. It was Dinah's mode of invoking the 
domestic Muses. 

Seated around her were various members of 
that rising race with which a Southern household 
abounds, engaged in shelling peas, peeling pota- 
toes, picking pin-feathers out of fowls, and other 
preparatory arrangements, — Dinah every once in 
a while interrupting her meditations to give a 
poke, or a rap on the head, to some of the young 
operators, with the pudding-stick that lay by her 
side. In fact, Dinah ruled over the woolly heads 
of the younger members with a rod of iron, and 
seemed to consider them born for no earthly pur- 
pose but to " save her steps," as she phrased it. 
It was the spirit of the system under which she 
had grown up, and she carried it out to its full 
extent. 

Miss Ophelia, after passing on her reformatory 
tour through all the other parts of the establish- 
ment, now entered the kitchen. Dinah had 
heard, from various sources, what was g >ing on, 
and resolved to stand on defensive and conssrva- 
tive ground, — mentally determined to oppose 
and ignore every new measure, without any ac- 
tual and observable contest. 

The kitchen was a large brick-floored apart- 
ment, with a great old-fashioned fireplace stretch- 
ing along one side of it, — an arrangement which 
St. Clare had vainly tried to persuade Dinah to 
exchang3 for the convenience of a modern cook- 
etove. Not she. No Puseyite, or conservative 
of any school, was ever more inflexibly attached 
to tiaie-honored inconveniences than Dinah. 

When St. Clare had first returned from the 
north, impressed with the system and order of 
his uncle s kitchen arrangements, he had largely 
provided his own with an array of cupboards, 
drawers, and various apparatus, to induce sys- 
tematic regulation, under the sanguine illusion 
that it would be of any possible assistance to 



Dinah in her arrangements. He might as well 
have provided them for a squirrel or a magpie. 
The more drawers and closets there were, the more 
hiding- holes could Dinah make for the accommo- 
dation of old rags, hair-combs, old shoes, rit>- 
bons, cast-off artificial flowers, and other article* 
of vertu, wherein her soul delighted. 

When Miss Ophelia entered the kitchen, Dinah 
did not rise, but smoked on in sublime tranquillity, 
regarding her movements obliquely out of the 
corner of her eye, but apparently intent only on 
the operations around her. 

Miss Ophelia commenced opening a set of 
drawers. 

" What is this drawer for, Dinah?" she said. 

" It 's handy for most anything, Missis," said 
Dinah. So it appeared to be. From the variety 
it contained, Miss Ophelia pulled out first a fine 
damask table-cloth stained with blood, having 
evidently been used to envelop some raw meat. 

"What's this, Dinah? You don't wrap up 
meat in your mistress' best table-cloths?" 

" Lor, Missis, no ; the towels was all a mis- 
sin', — so I jest did it. I laid out to wash that 
ar, — that 's why I put it thar." 

" Shif 'less !" said Miss Ophelia to hersilf, pro- 
ceeding to tumble over the drawer, where she 
found a nutmeg-grater and two or three nutmegs, 
a Methodist hymn-book, a couple of soiled Madrai 
handkerchiefs, some yarn and knitting- work, a 
paper of tobacco and a pipe, a few crackers, ona 
or two gilded china saucers with some pomade in 
them, one or two thin old shoes, a piece of flan- 
nel carefully pinned up enclosing, some small 
white onions, several damask table-napkins, soma 
coarse crash towels, some twine and darning- 
needles, and several broken papers, from which 
sundry sweet herbs were sifting into the drawer. 

" AVhere do you keep your nutmegs, Dinah?" 
said Miss Ophelia, with the air of one who 
prayed for patience. 

" Most anywhar, Missis ; there 's some in thai 
cracked tea-cup, up there, and there 's some over 
in that ar cupboard." 

"Here are some in the grater," said Mist 
Ophelia, holding them up. 

" Laws, yes, I put 'em there this morning, — I 
likes to keep my things handy," said Dinah, 
" You, Jake ! what are you stopping for? You '11 
cotch it ! Be still, thar !" she added, with a dive 
of her stick at the criminal. 

"What's this?" said Miss Ophelia, holding 
up the saucer of pomade. 

" Laws, it 's my har grease; — I put it thar to 
have it handy." 

"Do you use your mistress' best saucers for 
that?" 

" Law ! it was cause I was driv, and in such a 
hurry ; — I was gvvine to change it this very day." 

" Here are two damask table-napkins." 

"Them table-napkins I put thar, to get 'em 
washed out, some day." 

" Don't you have some place here on purpose 
for things to be washed?" 

" Well, Mas'r St. Clare got dat ar chest, he 
said, for dat ; but I likes to mix up biscuit and 
hev my things on it some days, and then it an't 
handy a liftin' up the lid." 

" Why don't you mix your biscuits on the 
pastry-table, there ? ' ' 

" Law, Missis, it gets sot so full of dishes, and 
one thing and another, der an't no room, no- 
ways — ' ' 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



81 



" But you should wash your dishes, and clear 
them away." 

"Wash my dishes!" said Dinah, in a high 
key, as her wrath began to rise over her habitual 
respect of manner; "what dors ladies know 'bout 
work, 1 want to know? When 'd Mas'r ever get 
his dinner, if I was to spend ail my time a wash- 
in' and a puttin' up dishes ! Miss Marie never 
telled me so, nohow." 

•• Well, here arc these onions." 

"Laws, yes!" said Dinah; " thar is whar I 
put 'em now. I couldn't 'member. Them's 
particular onions I was a savin' for dis yer very 
stew. I'd forgot they was' in dat ar old flan- 
nel." 

Miss Ophelia lifted out the sifting papers of 
sweet herbs. 

"I wish Missis wouldn't touch dem ar. I 
likes to keep my things where I knows whar to 
go to 'em." said Dinah, rather decidedly. 

"But you don't want these holes in the pa- 
pers." 

••Them's handy for siftin' on 't out," said 
Dinah. 

" But you see it spills all over the drawer." 

"Laws, yes! if Missis will go a tumblin' 
things all up so, it will. Missis has spilt lots 
dat ar way," said Dinah, coming uneasily to the 
drawers. " If Missis only will go up stars till 
my Claris' up time comes, I '11 have everything 
right ; but I can't do nothin when ladies is round, 
ahenderin'. You, Sam, dvn't you gib the baby 
dat ar sugar-bowl ! I '11 crack ye over, if ye don't 
mind ! ' ; 

" I 'm going 'through the kitchen, and going to 
put everything in order, once, Dinah ; and then 
I '11 expect you to keep it' so." 

" Lor, now ! Miss Phelia ; dat ar an't no way 
for ladies to do. I never did see ladies doin' no 
sich ; my old Missis nor Miss Marie never did, 
and I don't see no kinder need on 't ;" and Dinah 
stalked indignantly ahout, while Miss Ophelia 
piled and sorted dishes, emptied dozens of scat- 
tering bowls of sugar into one receptacle, sorted 
napkins, table-cloths and towels, for washing ; 
washing, wiping, and arranging with her own 
hands, and with a speed and alacrity which per- 
fectly amazed Dinah. 

. " Lor, now ! if dat ar de way dem northern 
ladies do, dey ant ladies, nohow," she said to 
some of her satellites, when at a safe hearing dis- 
tance. " I has things as straight as anybody, 
when my clarin' up time comes ; but I don't want 
ladies round, a henderin', and getting my things 
all where I can't find 'em." 

To do Dinah justice, she had, at irregular 
periods, paroxysms of reformation and arrange- 
ment, which she called " clarin' up times," 
when she would begin with great zeal, and turn 
every drawer and closet wrong side outward, on 
to the floor or tables, and make the ordinary con- 
fusion seven-fold more confounded. Then she 
would light her pipe, and leisurely go over her 
arrangements, looking things over, and discours- 
ing upon them ; making all the young fry scour 
most vigorously on the tin things, and keeping 
up for several hours a most energetic state of 
confusion, which she would explain to the satis- 
faction of all inquirers, by the remark that she 
was a " clarin' up." " She couldn't hev things 
a gwine on so as they had been, and she was 
gwine to make these yer young ones keep better 
order;" for Dinah herself, somehow, indulged 
G 



the illusion that she, herself, was the soul of 
order, and it was only the young uns, and the 
everybody else in the house, that were the cause 
of anything that fell short of perfection in this 
respect. "When all the tins were scoured, and 
the tables scrubbed snowy white, and everything 
that could offend tucked out of sight in holes and 
corners, Dinah would dress herself up in a smart 
dress, clean apron, and high, brilliant Madras 
turban, and tell all marauding " young uns " to 
keep out of the kitchen, for she was gwine to 
have things kept nice. Indeed, these periodic 
seasons were often an inconvenience to the whole 
household ; for Dinah would contract such an 
immoderate attachment to her scoured tin, as to 
insist upon it that it shouldn't be used again for 
any possible purpose, — at least, till the order of 
the " clarin' up " period abated. 

Miss Ophelia, in a few days, thoroughly 
reformed every department of the house to a 
systematic pattern ; but her labors in all de- 
partments that depended on the cooperation of 
savants were like those of Sisyphus or the 
Danaides. In despair, she one day appealed to 
St. Clare. 

"There is no such thing as getting anything 
like system in this family !" 

" To be sure, there isn't," said St. Clare. 

" Such shiftless management, such waste, such 
confusion, I never saw !" 

" I dare say you did n't." 

" You would not take it so coolly, if you were 
house-keeper." 

" My dear cousin, you may as well understand, 
once for all, that we masters are divided into two 
classes, oppressors and oppressed. We who are 
good-natured and hate severity make up our 
minds to a good deal of inconvenience! If we 
will keep a shambling, loose, untaught set in the 
community, for our convenience, why, we must 
take the consequence. Some rare cases I have 
seen, of persons, who, by a peculiar tact, can 
produce order and system without severity ; but 
1 'm not one of them, — and so I made up my 
mind, long ago, to let things go just as they do. 
I will not have the poor devils thrashed and cut 
to pieces, and they know it, — and, of course, 
they know the staff is in their own hands." 

"But to have no time, no place, no order, — 
all going on in this shiftless way !" 

" My dear Vermont, you natives up by the 
North Pole set an extravagant value on time I 
What on earth is the use of time to a fellow who 
has twice as much of it as he knows what to do 
with? As to order and system, where there is 
nothing to be done but to lounge on the sofa and 
read, an hour sooner or later in breakfast or din- 
ner is n't of much account. Now, there 's Dinah 
gets you a capital dinner, — soup, ragou/, roast 
fowl, dessert, ice-creams and all, — atid she 
creates it all out of chaos and old night down 
there, in that kitchen. I think it really sublime, 
the way she manages. But, Heaven bless us ! 
if we are to go down there, and view all the 
smoking and squatting about, and hurryscurrya- 
tion of the preparatory process, we never should 
eat more ! My good cousin, absolve yourself from 
that ! It 's more than a Catholic penance, and 
does no more good. You '11 only lose your own 
temper, and utterly confound Dinah. Let her go 
her own way." 

" But, Augustine, you don't know how I found 
things, " 



82 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR, 



"Don't I? Don't I know that the rolling-pin 
io under her bed, and the nutmeg-grater in her 
pocket with her tobacco, — that there are sixty- 
live different sugar-bowls, one in every hole in the 
house, — that she washes dishes with a dinner- 
napkin one day, and with a fragment of an old 
petticoat the next? But the upshot is, she gets 
up glorious dinners, makes superb coffee ; and 
you must judge her as warriors and statesmen 
are judged, by her success." 

" But, the waste, — the expense !" 

"0, well ! Lock everything you can, and 
keep the key. Give out by driblets, and never 
inquire for odds and ends, — it isn't best." 

"That troubles me, Augustine. I can't help 
feeling as if these servants were not strictly 
honest. Are you sure they can be relied on?" 

Augustine laughed immoderately at the grave 
and anxious face with which Miss Ophelia pro- 
pounded the question. 

" O, cousin, that 's too good, — honest ! — as if 
that 's a thing to be expected ? Honest ! — why, 
of course, they arn't. Why should they be ? 
What upon earth is to make them so ?" 

" Why don't you instruct?" 

u Instruct! (J, fiddlestick ! What instructing 
do you think I should do? I look like it ! As to 
M^rie, she has spirit enough, to be sure, to kill 
off a whole plantation, if I 'd let her manage ; but 
she would n t get the cheatery out of them." . 

" Are there no honest ones?" 

" Well, now and then one, whom Nature makes 
so impracticably simple, truthful and faithful, 
that the worst possible influence can't destroy it. 
But, you see, from the mother's breast the colored 
child feels and sees that there are none but un- 
derhand ways open to it. It can get along no 
other way with its parents, its mistress, its young 
master and missio play-fellows. Cunning and 
deception become necessary, inevitable habits. 
It is n t fair to expect anything else of him. He 
ought not to be punished for it. As to honesty, 
the slave is kept in that dependent, semi-childish 
State, that there is no making him realize the 
rights of property, or feel that his master s goods 
are not Lis own, if he can get them. For my 
part, I don t see how they can be honest. Such 
a fellow as Tom, here, is — is a moral mir- 
acle! ' 

" And what becomes of their souls?" said Miss 
Ophelia. 

'■ That is n't my affair, as I know of," said St. 
Clare ; " I am only dealing in facts of the present 
life. The fact is, that the whole race are pretty 
generally understood to be turned over to the 
devil, for our benefit, in this world, however it 
may turn out in another !" 

" This is perfectly horrible!" said Miss Ophe- 
lia; " you ought to be ashamed of yourselves !" 

" I don't know as I am. We are in pretty 
good company, for all that," said St. Clare, " as 
people in the broad road generally are. Look at 
the high and the low, all the world over, and it 's 
the same story, — the lower class used up, body, 
soul and spirit, for the good of the upper. It is 
so in England ; it is so everywhere ; and yet all 
Christendom stands aghast, with virtuous indig- 
nation, because w r e do the thing in a little dif- 
ferent shape from what they do it." 

" It is n t so in Vermont." 

" Ah, well, in New England, and in the free 
frtates, you have the better of us, I grant. But 
there 's the bell ; so, cousin, let us for a while 



lay aside our sectional prejudices, and come out 
to dinner." 

As Miss Ophelia was in the kitchen in the 
latter part of the afternoon, some of the sable 
children called out, "La. sakes ! fcbar 's Pruo 
a coming, grunting along like she allers does." 

A tall, bony colored woman now entered the 
kitchen, bearing on her head a basket of rusk3 
and hot rolls. 

" Ho, Prue ! you 've come," said Dinah. 

Prue had a peculiar scowling expression of 
countenance, and a sullen, grumbling voice. 
She set down her basket, squatted herself down, 
arid resting her elbows on her knees, suid, 

"O Lord! I wish 't I "s dead!" 

" Why do you wish you were dead ?" said Miss 
Ophelia. 

" I 'd be out o' my misery," said the woman, 
gruffly, without taking her eyes from the floor. 

" What need you getting drunk, then, and cut- 
ting up, Prue?" said a spruce quadroon chamber- 
maid, dangling, as she spoke, a pair of coral ear- 
drops. 

The woman looked at her with a sour, surly 
glance. 

" Maybe you'll come to it, one of these ycr 
days. I 'd be glad to see you, I would ; then 
you Tl be glad of a drop, like me, to forget your 
misery." 

"Come, Prue," said Dinah, "let's look afr 
your rusks. Here 's Missis will pay for them." 

Miss Ophelia took out a couple of dozen. 

" Thar 's some tickets in that ar old cracked 
jug on the top shelf," said Dinah. " You, Jake, 
climb up and get it down." 

"Tickets, — what are they for?" said Miss 
Ophelia. 

" AVe buys tickets of her Mas'r, and she gives 
us bread for 'em." 

" And they counts my money and tickets, when 
I gets home, to see if I 's got the change ; and if 
I ban t, they half kills me." 

"And serves you right," said Jane, the pert 
chambermaid, " if you will tike their money to 
get drunk on. That 's what s'xe does. Missis." 

" And that 's what I will do, — I can't live ne 
other ways, — drink and forget my misery." 

"You are very wicked and very i\) dish," said 
Miss Ophelia, " to steal your master's money to 
make yourself a brute with." 

" It *s mighty likely, Missis ; but I will do it, 
yes, I will. Lord ! I wish I 's dead, I do, — I 
wish I s dead, and out of my misery!" and 
slowly and stiffly the old creature rose, and got 
her basket on her head again; but befora sho 
went out, she looked at the quadroon girl, who 
still stood playing with her car-drops. 

" Ye think ye 're mighty fine with them ar, a 
frolickm' and a tossin' your head, and a lookin' 
down on everybody! Well, never mind,— you 
may live to be a poor, old, cut-up crittur, liko 
me. Hope to the Lord ye will, I do ; then see 
if ye won't drink, — drink, — drink, — ycrself 
into torment; and sarve ye right, too — ugh!" 
and, with a malignant howl, the woman left the 
room. 

" Disgusting old beast !" said Adolph, who was 
getting his master's shaving-water. " If I was 
her mister, I 'd cut her up worse thin she is !" 

" Ye could n't do that ar, no ways," said Dinah* 
" Her back 's a far sight now, — she can't never 
get a dress together over it." 

" I think such low creatures ought not to be 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



83 



nil >wod to go round to genteel families," said 
Miss Jane. : - Whatdoyou think, Mr.St. dare?" 
she s iid, c Kjuettishly t «sing her bead at Adolph. 

ft must be observed that, among other appro- 
priati ma from his master's stock, Adolph was in 
the habit of adopting his name and address; and 
that the style under which he moved, among the 
c >] >r id circles of Now Orleans, was that of Mr. 
S/. ( 'lore. 

"I'm certainly of your opinion, Miss Benoir," 
said Adolph. 

!! inoir was the name of Marie St. Clare's fam- 
ily, and J.\m was one of her servants. 

•■ Pray, Miss Benoir, may T he allowed to ask 
if those drops are for the ball, to-morrow night? 
They are certainly bewitching !" 

" T wonder, now, Mr. St. Clare, what the im- 
pndence of you men will come to!" said Jane, 
I jsing her pretty head till the ear-drops twinkled 
again. " T shan't dance with you for a whole 

sning, if you go to asking me any more ques- 
tions. 

"0, you couldn't be so cruel, now! I was 
just dying to kn >w whether you would appear in 
your pink tarletane," said Adolph. 

" What is it?" said Rosa, a bright, piquant 
little quadroon, who came skipping down stairs 
at this moment. 

" Why, Mr. St. Clare 's so impudent!" 

" On my honor," said Adolph, '• I '11 leave it 
■ to Miss Rosa, now." 

■• I kn m he's always a saucy creature," said 
Rosa, poising herself on one of her little feet, and 
looking maliciously at Adolph. " He "s always 
getting me a > angry with him." 

" O ! ladies, ladies, you will certainly break 
my heart, between you," said Adolph. " I shall 
be found dead in my bed, some morning, and 
you 11 have it to answer for." 

" Do hear the horrid creature talk !" said both 
ladies, laughing immoderately. 

"Come, — clar out, you! I can't have you 
cluttering up the kitchen," said Dinah ; " in my 
way, foolin round here." 

" Aunt Dinah 's glum, becaus? she can't go to 
the ball," said Rosa. 

" Don't want none o' your light-colored balls," 
said Dinah ; " cuttin' round, inakin' b lieveyou 's 
white folks. Arter all, you 's niggers, much as 
I am." 

" Aunt Dinah greases her wool stiff, every day, 
to mike it lie straight," said Jane. 

" And it will be wool, after all," said Rosa, 
maliciously shaking down her long, silky curls. 

'• Well, in the Lord s sight, an t wool as gjood 
ns har, any time?" said Dinah. "I'd like to 
ha/e Missis say which is worth the most, — a 
couple sach as you, or one like me. Get out wid 
ye, ye trumpery, — I won't have ye round !" 

Here the conversition was interrupted in a two- 
fold manner. St. Clare's voice was heard at the 
head of the stairs, asking Adolph if he meant to 
stay all night with his shaving-water ; and Miss 
Ophelia, coming out of the dining-room, s dd, 
^ "Jane and Ros.i, what are you wasting your 
time for here ? Go in and attend to your muslins. ' ' 

Our friend Tom, who had been in the kitchen 
during the conversation with the old rusk-woman, 
had followed her out into the street. He saw her 
go on, giving every once in a while a suppressed 
groan. At last she S3t her basket down on a door- 
step, and beg in arranging the old, faded shawl 
which covered her shoulders. 



" I '11 orry your basket a piece," said Com, 
compassionately. 

" Why should ye ?" said the woman. " I don't 
want no help." 

" You seem to be sick, or in trouble, or sorm> 
thin'," said Tom. 

" I an t sick," said the woman, shortly. 

" I wish," said Tom, looking at her earnestly. 
— " T wish I could persuade you to leave off 
drinking. Don't you know it will be the ruin of 
ye, body and soul ?" 

" I knows I 'm gwine to torment," said the 
woman, sullenly. " Ye don't need to tell mo 
that ar. I 's, ugly, — I 's wicked, — I "s gwine 
straight to torment. 0, Lord ! I wish I 's thar !" 

Tom shuddered at these frightful words, spoken 
with a sullen, impassioned earnestness. 

"0, Lord have mercy on ye ! poor crittu*. 
Han't ye never heard of Jesus Christ?" 

"Jesus Christ,^- who 's he?" 

" Why, he "s the Lord," said Tom. 

" I think I 've hearn tell o' the Lord, and the 
judgment and torment. I 'vc hearn o' that." 

" But did n't anybody ever tell you of the Lord 
Jesus, that loved us poor sinners, and died for 
us ?" 

"Don't know nothin' 'bout that," said tho 
woman; "nobody han't never loved me, sinco 
my old man died." 

" Where was you raised ?" said Tom. 

" Up in Ken tuck. A man kept me to breed 
chil'cn for market, and sold 'cm as fast as they 
got big enough ; List of all, he sold me to a spec- 
ulator, and my Mas'r got me o' him." 

" What set you into this bad way of drinkin'?" 

" To get shet o' my misery. I had one child 
after I come here ; and I thought then I "d have 
one to raise, cause Mas'r was n't a speculator. 
It was de peartest little thing ! and Missis she 
seemed to think a heap on 't, at f rst ; it never 
cried, — it was likely and fat. But Missis tuck 
sick, and [ tended her ; and \ tuck the fever, and 
my milk all left me. and the child it pined to 
skin and bone, and Missis would n't buy milk for 
it. She wouldn't hear to me, when I telled her 
I had n't milk. She said she knowed 1 could feed 
it on what other folks eat ; and the child kinder 
pined, and cried, and cried, and cried, day and 
night, and g )t all gone to skin and bones, and 
Missis got sot agin it, and she said "t want 
nothin' but crossness. She wished it was dead, 
she said; and she wouldn't let me have it o' 
nights, caus3, she said, it kept me awake, and 
made me good for nothing. She made me sleep 
in her room ; and I had to put it away off in a 
little kind 6' garret, and thar it cried itself to 
death, one night. It. did ; and I tuck todrinkin', 
to keep its crying out of my ears ! I did, — an J 
T will drink ! I will, if 1 do go to torment for 
it ! Mas r says I shall go to torment, and 1 tell 
him T 've got thar now !" 

" 0, ye poor crittur !" sii.; Tom, " han't no- 
body never telled ye how the Lord JesjL'3 loved 
ye, and died for ye? Han't they telle 1 y : that 
he '11 help ye, and ye can go to heaven, and have 
rest, at last ?" 

" I looks like gwine to heaven," said the wo- 
man ; " an't thar where white folks is gwine? 
S pose they 'd have me thar? I 'd rather go to 
torment, and get away from Mas'r and Missis. 
I had so," she said, as, with her usu.il groan, she 
got her basket on her head, and walked sullenly 
away. 



84 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR, 



Tom turned, and walked sorrowfully back to 
Che house. In the court he met little Eva, — a 
crown of tuberoses on her head, and her eyes 
radiant with delight. 

"0, Tom ! here you are. I 'm glad I 've found 
you. Papa says you may get out the ponies, and 
take me in my little new carriage," she said, 
catching his hand. " But what 's the matter, 
Tom ? — you look sober." 

" I feel bad, Miss Eva," said Tom, sorrowfully. 
" But I '11 get the horses for you." 

" But do tell me, Tom, what is the matter. I 
saw you talking to cross old Prue." 

Tom, in simple, earnest phrase, told Eva the 
woman's history. She did not exclaim, or won- 
der, or weep, as other children do. Her cheeks 
grew pale, and a deep, earnest shadow passed 
over her eyes. She laid both hands on her bosom, 
and sighed heavily. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

mss Ophelia's experiences and opinions, con- 
tinued. 

" Tom, you need n't get me the horses. I don't 
want to go," she said. 

"Why not, Miss Eva?" 

" These things sink into my heart, Tom," said 
Eva, — " they sink into my heart," she repeated, 
earnestly. " I don't want to go ;" and she turned 
from Tom, and went into the house. 

A few days after, another woman came, in old 
Prue's place, to bring the rusks ; Miss Ophelia 
was in the kitchen. 

" Lor !" said Dinah, " what 's got Prue ?" 

" Prue is n't coming any more," said the wo- 
man, mysteriously. 

" Why not ?" said Dinah. " She an'tdcad, is 
die?" 

" We does n't exactly know. She 's down cel- 
lar," said the woman, glancing at Miss Ophelia. 

After Miss Ophelia had taken the rusks, Dinah 
followed the woman to the door. 

" What has got Prue, anyhow ?" she said. 

The woman seemed desirous, yet reluctant, to 
speak, and answered, in a low, piysterious tone. 

"Well, you mustn't tell nobody. Prue, she 
got drunk agin, — and they had her down cellar, 
— and thar they left her all day, — and I hearn 
'em saying that the flies had got to her, -— and 
she 's dead ! " ' 

Dinah held up. her hands, and, turning, saw 
close by her side the spirit-like form of Evange- 
line, her large, mystic eyes dilated with horror, 
and every drop of blood driven from her lips and 
cheeks. 

"Lor bless us! Miss Eva's gwine to faint 
away ! What g;^t us all, to let her har such 
talk ? Her pa '11 be rail mad." 

" I shan't faint, Dinah," said the child, firmly ; 
" and why should n't I hear it ? It an't so much 
for me to hear it, as for poor Prue to suffer it." 

"Lor sakes ! it isn't for sweet, delicate young 
ladies, like you, — these yer stories isn't; it's 
enough to kill 'em !" 

Eva sighed again, and walked up stairs with a 
slow and melancholy step. 

Miss Ophelia anxiously inquired the woman's 
story. Dinah gave a very garrulous version of it, 
to which Tom added the particulars which he had 
drawn from her that morning. 



"An aboninable business, — perfectly horri 
ble!" she exclaimed, as she entered the room 
where St. Clare lay reading hi3 paper. 

"Pray, what iniquity has turned up now?" 
said he. 

" What now? why, those folks have whipped 
Prue to death!" said Miss Ophelia, going on, 
with great strength of detail, into the story, and 
enlarging cm its most shocking particulars. 

" I thought it would come to that, some time,'* 
said St. Clare, going on with his paper. 

" Thought so ! — an't you going to do anything 
about it?" said Miss Ophelia. "Haven't you 
got any selectmen, or anybody, to interfere and 
look after such matters?" 

"It's commonly supposed that the -property 
interest is a sufficient guard in these cases. If 
people choose to rum their own possessions, I. 
don't know what 's to be done. It seems the 
poor creature was a thief and a drunkard ; and 
so there won't be much hope to get up sympathy 
for her." 

" It is perfectly outrageous, — it is horrid, Au- 
gustine ! It will certainly bring down vengeance 
upon you." 

" My dear cousin, I didn't do it, and I can't 
help it; I would, if I could. If low-minded, 
brutal people will act like themselves, what am I 
to do ? They have absolute control : they are ir- 
responsible despots. There would be no use in 
interfering ; there is no law that amounts to any- 
thing practically, for such a case. The best we 
can do is to shut our eves and ears, and let it 
alone. It 's the only resource left us." 

" How can you shut your eyes and ears ? How 
can you let such things alone?" 

" My dear child, what do you expect? Here 
is a whole class, — debased, uneducated, indo- 
lent, provoking, — put, without any sort of terms 
or conditions, entirely into the hands of such 
people as the majority in our world are ; people 
who have neither consideration nor self-control, 
who haven't even an enlightened regard to their 
own interest, — for that's the case with the 
largest half of mankind. Of course, in a commu- 
nity so organized, what can a man of honorable 
and humane feelings do, but shut his eyes all he 
can, and harden his heart? I can't buy every 
poor wretch I see. I can't turn knight-errant, 
and undertake to redress every individual case of 
wrong in such a city as this. The most I can do 
is to try and keep out of the way of it." 

St. Clare's fine countenance was for a moment 
overcast ; he looked annoyed, but suddenly call- 
ing up a gay smile, he said, 

" Come, cousin, don't stand there looking like 
one of the Fates ; you 've only seen a peep 
through the curtain, — a specimen of what is 
going on, the world over, in some shape or other. 
If we are to be prying and spying into all the 
dismals of life, we should have no heart to any- 
thing. 'T is like looking too close into the de- 
tails of Dinah's kitchen;" and St. Clare lay 
back on the sofa, and busied himself with his 
paper. 

Miss Ophelia sat down, and pulled out her 
knitting-work, and sat there grim with indigna- 
tion. She knit and knit, but while she mused 
the fire burned ; at last she broke out — 

" I tell you, Augustine, I can't get over things 
so, if you can. It 's a perfect abomination for 
you to defend such a system, — that 's my 
mind!" 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



85 



"What now?" said St. Clare, looking up. 
• At it again, hey '" 

" I say it 'a perfectly abominable for you to 
defend such a Bystem '" said Miss Ophelia, with 
iacreasing warmth. 

•• / defend it, my dear lady? Who ever said T 
did defend it !" said St. Clare. 

•« Of course, you defend it, — you all do, — all 
you Southerners. What do you have slaves for, 
if you don't !" 

•■ An- you such a sweet innocent as to suppose 
nobody in this world ever does what they don't 
think is right? Don't you, or didn't you ever, 
do anything that you did not think quite right !" 

" li' I do, 1 repent of it, I hope,'' said Miss 
Ophelia, rattling her need] is with energy. 

"So do I," said St. (dare, peeling his orange; 
"I'm repenting of it all the time." 

" What do you keep on doing it for?" 

"Didn't you ever keep on doing wrong, after 
you 'd repented, my good cousin?" 

" Well, only when I 've been very much tempt- 
ed," said Miss Ophelia. 

•• Well, I 'm very much tempted," said St. 
Clare ; " that 's just my difficulty." 

" But I always resolve I won't, and I try to 
break off." 

" Well, I have been resolving I won't, off and 
on, these ten years," said St. Clare ; " but I 
haven't, somehow, got clear. Have you got 
clear of all your sins, cousin ?" 

" Cousin Augustine," said Miss Ophelia, seri- 
ously, and laying down her knitting- work, " I 
Buppose I deserve that you should reprove rny 
short-comings. I know all you say is true 
enough ; nobody else feels them more than I do ; 
but it does seem to me, after all, there is some 
difference between me and you. It seems to me 
I would cut off my right hand sooner than keep 
on, from day to day, doing what I thought was 
wrong. But, then, my conduct is so inconsistent 
with my profession, I don't wonder you reprove 
ine." 

" 0, now, cousin," said xiugustine, sitting 
down on the floor, and laying his head back in 
her lap, " don't take on so awfully serious ! 
You know what a good-for-nothing, saucy boy I 
always was. I love to poke you up, — that 's all, 
— just to see you get earnest. I do think you 
are desperately, distressingly good ; it tires me 
to death to think of it." 

" But this is a serious subject, my boy Au- 
guste," said Miss Ophelia, laying her hand on 
his forehead. 

" Dismally so," said he ; " and I well, I 

never want to talk seriously in hot weather. 
What with mosquitos and all, a fellow can't get 
himself up to any very sublime moral flights ; 
and I believe," said St. Clare, suddenly rousing 
himself up, "there's a theory, now! I under- 
stand now why northern nations are always more 
virtuous than southern ones, — I see into that 
whole subject." 

"0, Auguste, you are a sad rattle-brain !" 

" Am I? Well, so I am, I suppose ; but for 
once I will be serious, now ; but you must hand 
me that basket of oranges; — you see, you'll, 
have to { stay me with flagons and comfort me 
with apples,' if I 'm going to make this effort. 
Now," said Augustine, drawing the basket up, 
"I'll begin: When, in the course of human 
events, it becomes necessary for a fellow to hold 
two or three dozen of his fellow-worms m cap- 



tivity, a decent regard to the opinions of society 
requires — " 

" I don't see that you are growing more seri- 
ous," said Miss Ophelia. 

"Wait, I'm coming on, — you'll hear. The 
short of the matter is, cousin," said he, his 
handsome face suddenly settling into an earnest 
and serious expression. " on this abstract ques- 
tion of slavery there- can, as I think, be but one 
opinion. Planters, who have money to make by 
it, — clergymen, who have planters to please, — 
politicians, who want to rule by it, — may warp 
and bend language and ethics to a degree that 
shall astonish the world at their ingenuity; they 
can press nature and the Bible, and nobody knows 
what else, into the service; but, after all, neither 
they nor the world believe in it one particle the 
more. It comes from the devil, that 's the short 
of it; — and, to my mind, it's a pretty respecta- 
ble specimen of what he can do in his own line." 

Miss Ophelia stopped her knitting, and looked 
surprised ; and St. Clare, apparently enjoying 
her astonishment, went on. 

" You seem to wonder ; but if you will get m? 
fairly at it, I "11 make a clean breast of it. Thh 
cursed business, accursed of God and man, wha< 
is it? Strip it of all its ornament, run it down 
to the root and nucleus of the whole, and 
what is it? Why, because my brother Quashy 
is ignorant and weak, and I am intelligent and 
strong, — because I know how, and can do it, — 
therefore, I may steal all he has, keep it, and 
give him only such and so much as suits my fancy. 
Whatever is too hard, too dirty, too disagreeable, 
for me, I may set Quashy to doing. Because I 
don't like work, Quashy shall work. Because the 
sun burns me, Quashy shall stay in the sun. 
Quashy shall earn the money, and I will spend it. 
Quashy shall lie down in every puddle, that I 
may walk over dry-shod. Quashy shall do my 
will, and not his, all the days of his mortal life, 
and have such chance of getting to heaven, at 
last, as I find convenient. This I take to be about 
what slavery is. I defy anybody on earth to read 
our slave-code, as it stands in our law-books, and 
make anything else of it. Talk of the abuses of 
slavery ! Humbug ! The thing itself is the es- 
sence of all abuse ! And the onty reason why 
the land don't sink under it, like Sodom and 
Gomorrah, is because it is used in a way infinitely 
better than it is. For pity's sake, for shame's 
sake, because we are men born of women, and 
not savage beasts, many of us do not, and dare 
not, — Ave would scorn to use the full power which 
our savage laws put into our hands. And he who 
goes the furthest, and docs the worst, only uses 
within limits the power that the law gives him." 

St. Clare had started up, and, as his manner 
was when excited, was walking, with hurried 
steps, up and down the floor. His fine face, clas- 
sic as that of a Greek statue, seemed actually to 
burn with the fervor of his feelings. His large 
blue eyes flashed, and he gestured with an uncon- 
scious eagerness. Miss Ophelia had never seen 
him in this mood before, and she sat perfectly 
silent. 

" I declare to you," said he, suddenly stopping 
before his cousin, " (it 's no sort cf use to talk or 
to feel on this subject), but I declare to you there 
have been times when I have thought, if the 
whole country would sink, and hide all this in- 
justice and misery from the light, I would wil- 
lingly sink with it. When I have been travelling 



86 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR, 



up and down on our boats, or about on my 
collecting tours, and reflected that every brutal, 
disgusting, mean, low-lived fellow I met, was 
allowed by our laws to become absolute despot of 
as many men, women and children, as he could 
cheat, steal, or gamble money enough to buy, — 
when I have seen such men in actual ownership 
of helpless children, of young girls and women, 

— I have been ready to curse my country, to 
curse the human race !" 

"Augustine ! Augustine !" said Miss Ophelia, 
" I'm sure you 've said enough. I never, in my 
life, heard anything like this, even at the North." 

" At the North?" said St. Clare, with a sud- 
den change of expression, and resuming something 
of his habitual careless tone. " Pooh ! your 
northern folks are cold-blooded ; you are cool in 
everything ! You can't begin to curse up hill 
and down as we can, when we get fairly at it." 

" Well, but the question is," said Miss Ophe- 
lia, i 

" 0, yes, to be sure, the qucslion is, — and a 
deuce of a question it is ! — IIow came you in this 
state of sin and misery? Well, I shall answer 
in the good old words you used to teach me, 
Sundays. I came so by ordinary generation. My 
servants were my father's, and, what is more, my 
mother's ; and now they are mine, they and their 
increasa, which bids fair to be a pretty consider- 
able item. My father, you know, came first from 
New England ; and he was just such another man 
as your father, — a regular old Roman, — up- 
right, energetic, noble-minded, with an iron will. 
Your father settled down in New England, to rule 
over rocks and stones, and to force an existence 
out of Nature ; and mine settled in Louisiana, to 
rule over men and women, and force existence out 
of them. My mother," said St. Clare, -getting up 
and walking to a picture at the end of the room, 
and gazing upward with a face fervent with ven- 
eration, "she was divine! Don't look at me so! 

— you know what I mean ! She probably was of 
mortal birth ; bat, as far as ever 1 could observe, 
there was no trace of any human weakness or 
error about her : and everybody that lives to 
remember her, whether bond or free, servant, ac- 
quaintance, relation, s all say the same. Why, 
cousin, that mother has been all that has stood 
between me and utter unbelief for years. She 
was a direct embodiment and personification of 
the New Testament, — a living fact, to be ac- 
counted for, and to be accounted for in no other 
way than by its truth. 0, mother! mother!" said 
St. Clare, clasping his hands in a sort of trans- 
port ; and then suddenly checking himself, he 
came back, and seating himself on an ottoman, 
he went on : 

" My brother and I were twins ; and they say, 
you know, that twins ought to resemble each 
other ; but we were in all points a contrast. He 
had black, fiery eyes, coal-black hair, a strong, 
fine Roman profile, and a rich brown complexion. 
I had blue eyes, golden hair, a Greek outline, and 
fair complexion, lie was active and observing, I 
dreamy and inactive. lie was generous to his 
friends and equals, but proud, dominant, over- 
bearing to inferiors, and utterly unmerciful to 
whatever set itself up against him. Truthful we 
both were ; he from pride and courage, I from a 
sort of abstract ideality. We loved each other 
about as b:>ys generally do, — off and on, and in 
general ; — he was my father's pet, and I my 
mother's. 



" There was a morbid sensitiveness and acute 
ncss of feeling in me on all possible subjects, of 
which he and my father had no kind of under* 
standing, and with which they could have no 
possible sympathy. But mother did ; and so, 
when I had quarrelled with Alfred, and father 
looked sternly on me, 1 used to g-j off to mo- 
ther's room, and sit by her. I remember just 
how she used to look, with her pale checks,' her 
deep, soft, serious eyes, her white dress, — sho 
always wore white ; and I used to think of her 
whenever I read in Revelations about the sainta 
that were arrayed in fne linen, clean and white. 
She had a great deal of genius of one sort and 
another, particularly in music ; and she used to 
sit at her organ, playing fne old majestic music 
of the Catholic church, and singing with a voico 
more like an angel than a mortal woman ; and I 
would lay my he-ad denvn on her lap, and cry, and 
dream, and feel, — 0, immeasurably! — things 
that I had no language to say ! 

A In those days, this matter of slavery had 
never been canvassed as it has now ; nobody 
dreamed of any harm in it. 

" My.father was a born aristocrat. I think, in 
some preexistent state, he must have been in the 
higher circles of spirits, and brought all his old 
court pride along with him ; for it was ingrain, 
bred in the bone, though he was originally of poor 
and not in any way of noble family. My brother 
was begotten in his image. 

" Now, an aristocrat, you know, the world over, 
has no human sympathies, beyond a certain lino 
in society. In England the line is in one place, in 
Burumh in another, and in America in another ; 
hut the aristocrat of all these countries never go '3 
over it. What would be hardship and distress and 
injustice in his own class, is a cool matter of 
course in another one. My father's dividing lino 
was that of color. Among- his equals, never was 
a man more just and generous; but he considered 
the negro, through all possible gradations of col >r, 
as an intermediate link between man and animals, 
and graded all his idea3 of justice or generosity on 
this hypothesis. 1 suppose, to be sure, if anybody 
had asked him, plump and fair, whether they had 
human immortal souls, he might have hemmed 
and hawed, and said yes. But my lather was not 
a man much troubled with spiritualism ; religious 
sentiment lie had none, beyond a veneration for 
God, as decidedly the head of the upper classes. 

'• Well, my father worked some Jive hundred 
negroes ; he was an inflexible, driving, punclili his 
business man ; everything vwis to move by system, 
— to be sustained witli unfailing accuracy and 
precision. Now, if you take into account t uit all 
this Avas to be worked out by a set of lazy, twad- 
dling, shiftless laborers, who had grown up, all 
their lives, in the absence of every possible motive 
to learn how to do anything but ' shirk,' as you 
Vermonters say, and you'll see that there might 
naturally be, on his plantation, a great many 
things that looked horrible and distressing to a 
sensitive child, like me. 

"Besides all, he had an overseer, — a great, 
tall, slal)-sided, two-fisted renegade son of Ver- 
mont — (begging your pardon), — who had gone 
through a regular apprenticeship in hardness and 
brutality, and taken his degree to be admitted to 
practice. My mother never could endure him, 
nor I ; but he obtained an entire ascendency over 
my father ; and this man was the absolute despot 
of the estate. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



87 



11 I was a lii ilt 1 fellow then, but T had the same 
hue that I have now f>r all kinds of human 
things, — a kind of passim for the study of hu- 
manity, come in what shape ic would. I was 
found in the cabins and among the field-hands a 
great deal, and, of coarse, was a great favorite; 
and all s »rta of complaints and grievances wore 
breathed iii my ear ; and 1 told them to mother, 
and we. hetween us. formed n sort of committee 
for a redress of grievances. We hindered and 
repressed a great deal of cruelty, and congratulated 
ourselves on doing a vast deal of good, till, as often 
happens, my zeal overacted. Stubbs comj Lined 
to my father that he could n't manage the hands, 
and must resign his position. Father was a fond, 
indulgent husband, hut a man that never (line! ed 
from anything that he thought necessary ; and s > 
lie put d iwn his f >ot, like a rock, between us and 
the field-hands, lie told my mother, in language 
perfectly respectful and deferential, but quit' ex- 
plicit, that over the house-servants she should ho 
entire mistress, but that with the fold-hands he 
could allow no interference. Tie revered and re- 
spected her above all living beings ; hut he would 
have s iivl it all the same to the Virgin Mary her- 
self, if she had come in the way of his system. 

11 1 used sometimes to hear my mother reason- 
ing cases with him, — endeavoring to excite his 
sympathies. He would listen to the most pathetic 
appeals with the most discouraging politeness and 
equanimity. l [t all resolves itself hit > this,' he 
would say ; ' must I part with Stubbs, or keep 
him! Stubbs is the soul of punctuality, honesty, 
and efficiency, — a thorough business hand, and 
as humane as the general run. We can't have 
perfection ; and if 1 keep him, I must sustain his 
administration as a who/e, even if there are, now 
and then, things that are exceptionable. All g >\- 
ernment includes some necessary hardness. Gen- 
eral rules will hear hard on' particular cases.' 
This last maxim my father seemed to oonsid t a 
settler in most alleged cases of cruelty. After he 
had said (hat, he .commonly drew up his feet on 
the sofa, like a man that has disposed of a busi- 
ness, and betook himself to a nap, or the news- 
paper, as the case might he. 

" The fact is, my father showed the exact sort 
of talent for a statesman, lie could have divided 
Poland as easily as an orange, or trod on Ireland 
as quietly and systematically as any man living. 
At last my mother gave up, in despair. It never 
will he known, till the last account, what noble 
and sensitive natures like hers have felt, cast, 
utterly helpless, into what seems to them an abyss 
of injustice and cruelty, and which seems so to 
nobody about them. It has been an age of long 
sorrow of such natures, in such a hell-begotten 
sort or world as ours. What remained for her, 
but to train her children in her own views and 
sentiments'? Well, after all you say about train- 
ing, children will grow up substantially what they 
are by nature, and only that. From the cradle, 
Alfred was an aristocrat ; and as he grew up, in- 
stinctively, all his sympathies and all his reason- 
ings were in that line, and all mother's exhortations 
went to the winds. As to me, they sunk deep 
into me. She never contradicted, in form, any- 
thing that my father said, or seemed directly to 
differ irom him ; but she impressed, burnt into my 
very soul, with all the force of her deep, earnest 
nature, an idea of the dignity and worth of the 
meanest human soul. I have looked in her face 
with solemn awe, when she would point up to. the 



stars in the evening, and say to me ' See tVre, 
Auguste! the poorest, meanest soul on our place 
will be li\ing, when all these stars are gone for- 
ever, — will live as lon;r as God lives !' 

'• She had some fine old paintings ; one, in par* 
ticular. of Jesus healing a blind man. They were 
very fine, and used to impress me strongly. ' See 
there, Auguste,' she would say ; ' the blind man 
was a beggar, poor and loathsome ; therefore, ho 
would not heal him afar off ! lie called him to 
him, and put his hands on him ! Remember this, 
my boy.' .If T had lived to grow up under her 
care, she might have stimulated me to I know not 
what o. enthusiasm. I might have been a s.iint, 
reformer, martyr, — but, alas ! alas ! T went from 
her when I was only thirteen, and I never saw her 
again !" 

St. Clare rested his head on his hands, and did 
not speak for some minutes. After a while, ho 
looked up, and went on : 

" What poor, mean trash this whole husin?ss 
of human virtue is! A mere matter, for the most 
part, of latitude and longitude, and geographical 
position, acting with natural temperament The 
greater part is n (thing but an accident ! Your 
father, for example, settles in Vermont, in a town 
where all are, in fact, free and equal ; becomes a 
regular church member and deacon, and in due 
time joins an Abolition society, and t' inks us all 
little better than heathens. Yet he is. for all the 
world, in constitution and habit, a duplicate of 
my father, I can see it leaking out in fifty differ- 
ent ways, — just that same strong, overbearing, 
dominant spirit. You know very well how impos- 
sible it is to persuade some of the folks in your 
village that Squire Sinclair does not feel above 
them. The fact is, though he has fallen on demo- 
cratic times, and embraced a democratic theory, 
he is to the heart an aristocrat, as much as my 
father, who ruled over five or six hundred slaves." 

Miss Ophelia felt rather disposed to cavil at 
this picture, and was laying down her knitting 
to begin, but St. Clare stopped her. 

" Now, I know every word you are going to 
say. I do not say they were alike, in fact. One 
fell into a condition where everything acted against 
the natural tendency, and the other wdiere every- 
thing acted for it ; and so one turned out a pretty 
wilful, stout, overhearing old democrat, and tho 
other a wilful, stout old despot. If both had 
owned plantations in Louisiana, they would have 
been as two old bullets cast in the same mould." 

" What an undutiful boy you are f" said Miss 
Ophelia. 

" I don't mean them any disrespect," said St. 
Clare. " You know reverence is not my forta.. 
But, to go back to my history : 

" When father died, he left the whole property 
to us twin hoys, to be divided as we should agree* 
There does not breathe on God's earth a nobler" 
souled, more generous fellow, than Alfred, in all 
that concerns his equals ; and \xq got on admirably 
with this property question, without a single un- 
brotherly word or feeling. We undertook to work 
the plantation together ; and Alfred, whose out- 
ward life and capabilities had double the strength 
of mine, became an enthusiastic planter, and a 
wonderfully successful one. 

"But two years' trial satisfied me that I could 
not be a partner »n $hat matter. To have a great 
gang of seven hundred, whom I could not know 
personally, or feel any individual interest in, 
bought and driven, housed, fed, worked like so 



88 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR, 



many horned cattle, strained up to military pre- 
cision, — the question of how little of life's com- 
monest- enjoyments would keep them in working 
order being a constantly recurring problem, — 
the necessity of drivers and overseers, — the ever- 
necessary whip, first, last, and only argument, — 
the whole thing was insufferably disgusting and 
loathsome to me ; and when I thought of my 
mother's estimate of one poor human soul, it 
became even frightful ! 

"It's all nonsense to talk to mo about slaves 
enjoying all this ! To this day, I have no pa- 
tience with the unutterable trash that some of 
your patronizing Northerners have made up, as 
in their zeal to apologize for our sins. We all 
know better. Tell me that an} T man living wants 
to work all his days, from day-dawn till dark, 
under the constant eye of a master, without the 
power of putting forth one irresponsible volition, 
on the same dreary, monotonous, unchanging toil, 
and all for two pairs of pantaloons and a pair 
of shoes a year, with enough food and shelter 
to keep him in working order ! Any man who 
thinks that human beings can, as a general thing, 
be made about as comfortable that way as any 
other, i wish he might try it. I 'd buy the dog, 
and work him, with a clear conscience !" 

" I always have supposed," said Miss Ophelia, 
" that you, all of you, approved of these things, 
and thought them right, — according to Scrip- 
ture." 

" Humbug ! We are not quite reduced to that 
yet. Alfred, who is as determined a despot as ever 
walked, does not pretend to this kind of defence ; 

— no, he stands, high and haughty, on that good 
old respectable ground, the right of the strongest; 
and he says, and I think quite sensibly, that the 
American planter is ' only doing, in another form, 
what the English aristocracy and capitalists are 
doing by the lower classes ;' that is, I take it, ap- 
propriating them, body and bone, soul and spirit, 
to their use and convenience. He defends both, 

— and I think, at least, consistently, lie says 
that there can be no high civilization without 
enslavement of the masses, either nominal or 
real. There must, lie says, be a lower class, 
given up to physical toil and confined to an ani- 
mal nature ; and a higher one thereby acquires 
leisure and wealth for a more expanded intelli- 
gence and improvement, and becomes the direct- 
ing soul of the lower. So he reasons, because, as 
I said, he is born an aristocrat ; — so I don't be- 
lieve, because I was born a democrat." 

"How in the world can the two things be 
compared?" said Miss Ophelia. "The English 
laborer is not sold, traded, parted from his family, 
whipped." 

" He is as much at the will of his employer as 
if ho were sold to him. The slave-owner can 
whip his refractory slave to death, — the capi- 
talist can starve him to death. As to family 
security, it is hard to say which is the worst, — 
to have one's children sold, or see them starve to 
death at home." 

" But it's no kind of apology for slavery, to 
prove that it is n't worse than some other bad 
thing." 

"I didn't give it for one, — nay, I'll say, 
besides, that ours is the more bold and palpable 
infringement of human rights ; actually buying a 
man up, like a horse, — looking at his teeth, 
cracking his joints, and trying his paces, and 
then paying down for him, — having speculators, 



breeders, traders, and brokers in human bodies 
and souls, — sets the thing before the eyes of the 
civilized world in a more tangible form, though 
the thing done be, after all, in its nature, the 
same ; that is, appropriating one set of human 
beings to the use and improvement of another, 
without any regard to their own." 

" I never thought of the matter in this light," 
said Miss Ophelia. 

" Well, I 've travelled in England some, and 
I 've looked over a good many documents as to 
the state of their lower classes ; and I really think 
there is no denying Alfred, when he says that 
his slaves are better off than a large class of the 
population of England. You see, you must not 
infer, from what I have told you, that Alfred is 
what is called a hard master ; for he isn't. He 
is despotic, and unmerciful to insubordination ; 
he would shoot a fellow down with as little re- 
morse as he would shoot a buck, if he opposed 
him. But, in general, he takes a sort of pride in 
having his slaves comfortably fed and accommo- 
dated. 

" When I was with him, I insisted that he 
should do something for their instruction ; and, 
to please me, he did get a chaplain, and used to 
have them catechized Sunday, though, I believe, 
in his heart, that he thought it would do about 
as much good to set a chaplain over his dogs and 
horses. And the fact is, that a mind stupefied 
and animalized by every bad influence from the 
hour of birth, spending the whole of every week- 
day in unreflecting toil, cannot be done much 
with by a few hours on Sunday. The teachers of 
Sunday-schools among the manufacturing popu- 
lation of England, and among plantation-hands in 
our country, could perhaps testify to the same 
resnlt, there and here. Yet some striking excep- 
tions there are among us, from the fact that the 
negro is naturally more impressible to religious 
sentiment than the white." 

V Well," said Miss Ophelia, " how came you 
to give up your plantation life?" 

" Well, we jogged on together some time, till 
Alfred saAv plainly that I was no planter. He 
thought it absurd, after he had reformed, and 
altered, and improved everywhere, to suit my 
notions, that I still remained unsatisfied. The 
fact was, it was, after all, the thing that 1 hated, 
— the using these men and women, the perpetua- 
tion of all this ignorance, brutality and vice, — 
just to make money for me ! 

" Besides, I was always interfering in the 
details. Being myself one of the laziest of mor- 
tals, I had altogether too much fellow-feeling for 
the lazy ; and when poor, shiftless dogs put 
stones at the bottom of their cotton-baskets to 
make them weigh heavier, or filled their sacks 
with dirt, with cotton at the top, it seemed so 
exactly like what I should do if 1 were they, I 
couldn't and wouldn't have them flogged for it. 
Well, of course, there was an end of plantation 
discipline ; and Alf and I came to about the same 
point that 1 and my respected father did, years 
before. So he told me that I was a womanish 
sentimentalist, and would never do for business 
life ; and advised me to take the bank-stock and 
the New Orleans family mansion, and go to writ- 
ing, poetry, and let him manage the plantation. 
So we parted, and I came here." 

" But why didn't you free your slav 

" Well, I was n't up to that. To hold them as 
tools for money-making, I could not; — have 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



89 



fhem to help spend money, you know, didn't 
look quite so ugly to me. Some of them were 
old house-servants, to whom I was much attached ; 
and the younger ones were children to the old. 
All were well satisfied to be as they were." He 
paused, and walked reflectively up and down the 
room. 

"There was," said St. Glare, " a time in my 
life when I had plans and hopes of doing some- 
thing in this world, more than to float and drift. 
I had a vague, indistinct yearning to be a sort 
of emancipator, — to free my native land from 
this spot and stain. All young men have had 
such fever fits, I suppose, some time, — but 
then — " 

"Why didn't you?" said Miss Ophelia; — 
" }-ou ought not to put your hand to the plough, 
and look back." 

'• 0, well, things didn't go with me as I ex- 
pected, and I got the despair of living that 
Solomon did. I suppose it was a necessary inci- 
dent to wisdom in us both ; but, some how or 
other, instead of being actor and regenerator in 
society, I became a piece of drift-wood, and have 
been floating and eddying about, ever since. 
Alfred scolds me every time we meet ; and he has 
the better of me, I grant, — for he~really does 
something ; his life is a logical result of his 
opinions, and mine is a contemptible non sequi- 

" My clear cousin, can you be satisfied with 
such a way of spending your probation ?" 

" Satisfied ! Was I not just telling you I 
despised it? But, then, to come back to this 
point, — we were on this liberation business. I 
don't think my feelings about slavery are pecu- 
liar. I find many men who, in their hearts, 
think of it just as I do. The land groans under 
it ; and, bad as it is for the slave, it is worse, if 
anything, for the master. It takes no spectacles 
to see that a great class of vicious, improvident, 
degraded people, among us, are an evil to us, as 
well as to themselves. The capitalist and aris- 
tocrat of England cannot feel that as we do, 
because they do not mingle with the class they 
degrade as we do. They are in our houses ; they 
are the associates of our children, and they form 
their minds faster than we can ; for they are a 
race that children always will cling to and assim- 
ilate with. If Eva, now, was not more angel 
than ordinary, she would be ruined. We might 
as well allow the small-pox to run among them, 
and think our children would not take it, as to 
let them be uninstructed and vicious, and think 
our children will not be affected by that. Yet 
our laws positively and utterly forbid any efficient 
general educational system, and they do it wisely, 
too , for, just begin and thoroughly educate one 
generation, and the whole thing Avould be blown 
sky high. If we did not give them liberty, they 
would take it." 

, " And what do you think will be the end of 
this?" said Miss Ophelia. 

"I don't know. One thing is certain, — that 
there is a mustering among the masses, the world 
over ; and there is a dies ins coming on , sooner or 
later. The same thing is working in Europe, in 
England, and in this country. My mother used 
to tell me of a millennium that was coming, when 
Christ should reign, and all men should be free 
and happy. And she taught me, when I was a 
boy, to pray, ' Thy kingdom come.' Sometimes I 
think all this sighing, and groaning, and stirring 



among the dry bones, foretells what she used to 
tell me was coming. But w r ho may abide the day 
of his appearing?" 

" Augustine, sometimes I think you are not 
far from the kingdom," said Miss Ophelia, laying 
down her knitting, and looking anxiously at her 
cousin. 

" Thank you for your good opinion ; but it 's 
up and down with me, — up to heaven's gate in 
theory, down in earth's dust in practice. But 
there's the tea-bell, — do let's go, — and don't 
say, now, I have n't had one downright serious 
talk, for once in my life." 

At table, Marie alluded to the incident of Prue. 
" I suppose you r ll think, cousin," she said, 
" that we are all barbarians." 

" I think that 's a barbarous thing," said Miss 
Ophelia, ' ' but I don' t think you are all barbarians. ' ' 

" Well, now," said Marie, " I know it 's impos- 
sible to get along with some of these creatures. 
They are so bad they ought not to live. I don't 
feel a particle of sympathy for such cases. If 
they 'd only behave themselves, it would not 
happen." 

" But, mamma /' said Eva, " the poor creature 
was unhappy ; that 's what made her drink." 

"0, fiddlestick ! as if that were any excuse ! 
I 'm unhappy, very often. I presume," she said, 
pensively, " that I 've had greater trials than ever 
she had. It 's just because they are so bad. 
There 's some of them that you cannot break in 
by any kind of severity. I remember father had 
a man that was so lazy he would run away just 
to get rid of work, and lie round in the swamps, 
stealing and doing all sorts of horrid things. 
That man was caught and whipped, time and 
again, and it never did him any good ; and the 
last time he crawled off, though he couldn't but 
just go, and died in the swamp. There was no 
sort of reason for it, for father's hands were 
always treated kindly." 

" I broke a fellow in, once," said St. Clare, 
"that all the overseers and masters had tried 
their hands on in vain." 

"l r ou!" said Marie; "well, I'd be glad to 
know Avhen you ever did anything of the sort." 

" Well, he was a powerful, gigantic follow, — 
a native-born African ; and he appeared to have 
the rude instinct of freedom in him to an uncom- 
mon degree. He was a regular African lion. 
They called him Scipio. Nobody could do any- 
thing with him ; and he was sold round from 
overseer to overseer, till at last Alfred bought 
him, because he thought he could manage him. 
Well, one day he knocked clown the overseer, and 
was fairly off into the swamps. I was on a visit 
to Alf's plantation, for it was after we had dis- 
solved partnership. Alfred was greatly exasper- 
ated ; but I told him that it was his own fault, 
and laid him any wager that I could break the 
man ; and finally it was agreed that, if I caught 
him, I should have him to experiment on. So 
they mustered out a party of some six or fjeven, 
with guns and dogs, for the hunt. People, you 
know, can get up just as much enthusiasm in 
hunting a man as a deer, if it is only customary ; 
in fact, I got a little excited myself, though I had 
only put in as a sort of mediator, in case he was 
caught. 

"Well, the dogs bayed and howled, and we 
rode and scampered, and finally we started him. 
lie ran and bounded like a buck, and kept us 
well in the rear for some time ; but at last he got 



90 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR, 



caught in an impenetrable thicket of cans ; then 
he turned to bay, and I tell you he fought the 
do<rs right s Ulantlv. He dashed them to ri j-'i t and 
left, and actually killed three of them with only 
his naked lists, when a s'.iot frdm a gun brought 
him down, and he fell, wounded and bleeding, 
almost at my feet. The poor fellow looked up at 
me with manhood and despair both in his eye. I 
kept back the dogs and the party, as they came 
pressing up, and claimed him as my prisoner. It 
was all F could do to keen them from shooting 
him, in the flush of success; but I persisted in 
my bargain, and Alfred sold him to me. Well, I 
took him in hand, and in one fortnight [ had him 
tamed down as submissive and tractable as heart 
oould desire." 

" What in the world did you do to him?" said 
Marie. 

" Well, it was quite a simple process. T took 
him to my own room, had a g >>d bed made for 
him, dressed his wounds, and tended him mysjlf, 
until he g it fairly on Ids feet again. And, in 
process of time, I had free papers made out for 
him, ami t >ld him he might g ) where he liked." 

" And did he go?" s aid Miss Ophelia. 

" No. The foolish fellow tore the paper in 
two, and abs dutely refused to leave me. I never 
had a braver, better fellow, — trusty and true as 
steel. He embraced Christianity afterwards, and 
became as gentle as a child, lie used to oversee 
my place on the lake, and did it capitally, too. 
I list him the first cholera season. In fact, he 
laid down his life for me. For I was sick, almost 
to death ; and when, through the panic, every- 
body els.; fled, Scipio worked for me like a giant, 
and actually brought me back into life again. 
But, poor fellow ! he was taken, right after, and 
there was no saving him. I never lelt anybody's 
loss more." 

Eva had come gradually nearer and nearer to 
her father, as 'he told the story, — her small lips 
apart, her eyes wide and earnest with absorbing 
interest. 

As he finished, she suddenly threw her arms 
around his neck, burst into tears, and sobbed 
convulsively. 

" Eva, dear child! what is the matter?" said 
St. Clare, as the child's small frame trembled 
and shook with the violence of her feelings.. 
" This child," he added, " ought not to hear any 
of this kind of thing, — she 's nervous." 

'■ No, papa, I'm not nervous," said Eva, con- 
trolling herself, suddenly, with a strength of 
resolution singular in such a child. "I'm not 
nervous, but toesj things sink into my hearl." 
- " What do you mean, Eva?" 

" I can't toll you, papa. I think a great many 
thoughts. Perhaps some day I shall tell you." 

" Well, think away, dear, — only don't cry 
and worry your papa," said St. Clare. "Look 
here, — see what a beautiful peach I have got 
for you!" 

Eva took it, and smiled, though there was still 
a nervous twitching about the cornei'3 of her 
mouth. 

" Come, look at the gold-fish," said St. Clare, 
taking her hand and stepping on to the veranda. 
A few moments, and merry laughs were heard 
through the silken curtains, as Eva and St. Clare 
were pelting each other with roses,- and chasing 
each other among the alleys of the court. 

Th ;re is dancer that our humble friend Tom 



bo neglected amid the adventures of the higher 
bora ; but, if our readers will accompany us up 
to a little loft over the stable, they may, perhaps, 
learn a little of his affairs. It was a decent room, 
containing a bed. a chair, and a small, rough 
stand, where lay Tom's Bible and hymn-book ; 
and where be sits, at present, with his slato 
before him, intent on something that seems to 
cost him a great deal of anxious thought. 

The fact was, that Tom's homc-3-oarnings had 
become so strong, that he had begged a sheet of 
writing-paper of Eva, and, mustering up all his 
small stock of literary .attainment acquired by 
Mas r George's instructions, he conceived the 
bold idea of writing a letter ; and he was busy 
now, on his slate, getting out his frst draft. 
Tom was in a good deal of trouble, for the foims 
of some of the letters he had forgotten entirely; 
and of what he did remember he did not know 
exactly which to use. And while he was work- 
ing, and breathing very hard, in his earnestness, 
Eva alighted, like a bird, on the round of his 
chair behind him, and peeped over his shoulder. 

"0, Uncle Tom! what funny things you are 
making there !'' 

" I 'm trying to write to my poor old woman, 
Miss Eva, and my little chil en." said Tom, 
drawing the back of his hand over his eyes ; " but, 
somehow, I 'm feard I shan't make it out." 

" I wish I could help you, Tom ! I 've learnt 
to write some. Last year I could make all the 
letters, but I 'in afraid I 've forgotten." 

So Eva put her little golden head close to his, 
and the two commenced a grave and anxious dis- 
cussion, each one equally earnest, and about 
equally ignorant ; and, with a deal of consulting 
and advising over every word, the composition 
began, as they both felt very sanguine, to look 
quite like writing. 

" Yes, Uncle Tom, it really begins to look 
beautiful," said Eva, gazing delightedly on it, 
, " How pleased your wife '11 be, and the poor 
little children ! O, it 's a shame you ever had to 
go away from them ! I mean to ask papa to let 
you go back, some time." 

" Missis said that she would send down money 
for me, as soon as they could get it together," 
said Tom. "I'm 'spectin' she will. Young 
Mas'r George, he said he 'd come for me ; and 
he gave me this yer dollar as a sign ;" and Tom 
drew from under his clothes the precious dollar. 

" 0, he'll certainly come, then ! ' said Eva. 
"I'm so glad!" 

" And I wanted to send a letter, you know, to 
let 'em know whar I was, and tell poor Chloe that 
I was well off, — cause she felt so drefful, poor 
soul!" 

" I say, Tom!" said St. Clare's voice, coming 
in the door at this moment. 

Tom and Eva both started. 

"What's here?" said St. Clare, coming up 
and looking at the slate. 

" O, it's Tom's letter. I'm helping him to 
write it," said Eva ; " isn't it nice? ' 

"I wouldn't discourage either of 3*011," said 
St. Clare, " but I rather think, Tom, you "d better 
get me to write your letter for you. I 11 do it, 
when I come home from my ride." 

" It 's very important he should write," said 
Eva, " because his mistress is going to send down 
money to redeem him, you know, papa ; he told 
me they told him so." 

St. Clare thought, in his heart, that this was 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



91 



piribably only one of those things which good- 
natured (Avium's say to their sei rants, to alleviate 
their horror of being S >hl, without any intention 
oi" fnl! Iling the expectation thus excited. But he 
did cot make any audible comment upon it, — 
only ordered Tom to get the horses out lor a ride. 

Tom's letter was written in due form for 'him 
that evening, and safely lodged in the post-office. 

Miss Ophelia still persevered in her labors in 
the bouse-keeping line. It was universally 
agreed, among .ill the household, from Dinah down 
to the youngest urchin, that Miss Ophelia was 
decidedly " curis," — a term by which a southern 
servant implies that his or her betters don't cx- 
actly suit them. 

The higher circle in the family — to wit, 
Ad.ilph, J.me and Rosa — agreed that she was 
no lady ; ladies never kept working about as she 
did ; — that sac had no air at all ; and they were 
surprised that she should be any relation of the 
St. Clares. Even Marie declared that it was ab- 
solutely fatiguing to see Cousin Ophelia always 
so busy. And, in fact, Miss Ophelia's industry 
was so incessant as to lay some foundation for 
the complaint. She sewed and stitched away, 
from daylight till dark, with the energy of one 
who is } ressed on by some immediate urgency ; 
and then, when the light faded, and the work was 
folded away, with one turn out came the ever- 
ready knitting-work, and there she was again, 
going on as briskly as ever. It really was a labor 
to see her. 



CHAPTER XX. 

. TOPSY. 

Oxe morning, while Miss Ophelia was busy in 
some of her domestic cares, St. Clare's voice was 
heard, calling her, at the foot of the stairs. 

" Come down here, cousin ; I 've something to 
show you." 

"What is it?" said Miss Ophelia, coming 
down with her sewing in her hand. 

" I 've made a purchase for your department, 

— see here," said St. Clare ; and, with the word, 
he pulled along a little negro girl, about eight or 
nine years of age. 

She was one of the blackest of her race ; and 
her round, shining eyes, glittering asgliss beads, 
moved with quick and restless glances over every- 
thing in the room. Her mouth, half op-en with 
astonishment at the wonders of the new Mas Vs 
parlor, displayed a white and brilliant set of 
teeth. Her woolly hair was braided ia sundry 
little tails, which stuck out in every direction. 
The expression of her face was an odd mixture of 
shrewdness and cunning, over which was oddly 
drawn, like a kind of veil, an expression of the 
most -doleful gravity and solemnity. She was 
dressed in a single filthy, ragged garment, made 
of bagging ; and stood with her hands demurely 
folded before her. Altogether, there was some- 
thing odd and goblin-like about her appearance, 

— something, as Miss Ophelia afterwards said, 
" so heathenish," as to inspire that good lady 
with utter dismay ; and, turning to St. Clare, she 
said, 

'• Augustine, what in the world have you 
brought that thing here for?" 

" For you to educate, to be sure, and train in 
the way s N e should g >. I thought she was rather 
h funny (specimen in the Jim Crow line. Here, 



Topsy," he added, giving a whistle, as a man 
would to call the attention of a dog, " give us a 
song, now, and show us some of your dancing." 

The black, glassy eyes glittered with a kind of 
wicked drollery, and the thing struck up, in a 
clear, shrill voice, an odd negro melody, to which 
she kept time with her hands and feet, spinning 
round, clapping her hands, knocking her knees 
together, in a wild, fantastic sort of time, and 
producing in her throat all those odd guttural 
sounds which distinguish the native music of her 
race ; and, finally, turning a summerset or two, 
and giving a prolonged closing note, as odd and 
unearthly as that of the steam-whistle, she came 
suddenly down on the carpet, and stood with her 
hands folded, and a most sanctimonious expres- 
sion of meekness and solemnity over her face, 
only broken by. the cunning glances which sho 
shot askance from the corners of her eyes. 

Miss Ophelia stood silent, perfectly paralyzed 
with amazement. 

St. Clare, like a mischievous fellow as he was, 
appeared to enjoy her astonishment ; and, ad 
dressing the child again, said, 

" Topsy, this is your new mistress. I an. 
going to give you up to her ; see now that you 
behave yourself." 

" Yes, Mas'r," said Topsy, with sanctimonious 
gravity, her wicked eyes twinkling as she spoke.' 

" You 're going to be good, Topsy, you under- 
stand," said St. Clare. 

li yes, Mas'r," said Topsy, with another 
twinkle, her hands still devoutly folded. 

" Now, Augustine, what upon earth is this 
for?" said Miss Ophelia. " Your house is so full 
of these little plagues now, that a body can't set 
down their foot without treading on 'em. T get 
up in the morning, and find one asleep behind 
the door, and see one black head poking out from 
under the table, one lying on the door-mat, — and 
they are mopping and mowing and grinning be- 
tween all the railings, and tumbling over the 
kitchen floor ! What on earth did you want to 
bring this one for ?" 

"For you to educate — didn't T tell you? 
You 're always preaching about educating. I 
thought I would make you a present of a fresh- 
caught specimen, and let you try your hand on 
her, and bring her up in the way she should go." 

" 1 don't want her, I am sure ; — I have moro 
to do with 'em now than I want to." 

"That's you Christians, all over! — you'll 
get up a society, and get some poor missionary to 
spend all his days among just such heathen. Out 
let me see one of you that would take owe into 
your house with you, and take the labor of their 
conversion on yourselves ! No ; when it comes to 
that, they are dirty and disagreeable, and it's too 
much care, and so on." 

" Augustine, you know I didn't think of it in 

that light," said Miss Ophelia, evidently softcn- 

' ing. " Well, it might be a real missionary work," 

j said she, looking rather more favorably on the 

child. 

St. Clare had touched the right string. Miss 

Ophelia's conscientiousness was ever on thealert. 

" But," she added, " I really didn't see the need 

| of buying this one ; — there are enough, now, in 

your house, to take all my time and skill." 

" Well, then, cousin," said St. Clare, drawing 

[ her aside, " I ought to beg your pardon for my 

good-for-nothing speeches. You are so good, after 

] all, that there 's no sense in them. Why, the facfc 



92 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : 0.: 



is, this concern belonged to a couple of drunken 
creatures that keep a low restaurant that I have 
to pass by every day, and I was tired of hearing 
her screaming, and them beating and swearing at 
her. She rooked bright and funny, too, as if 
something might be made of her ; — so I bought 
•her, and I '11 give her to you. Try, now, and give 
her a good orthodox New England bringing up, and 
see what it '11 make of her. You know I haven't 
any gift that way ; but I'd like you to try." 

" Well, I'll do what I can," said Miss Ophe- 
lia ; and she approached her new subject very 
much as a person might be supposed to approach 
a black spider, supposing them to have benevo- 
lent designs toward it. 

" She 's dreadfully dirty, and half naked," she 
said. 

" Well, take her down stairs, and make some 
of them clean and clothe her up." 

Miss Ophelia carried her to the kitchen re- 
gions. 

" Don't see what Mas'r St. Clare wants of 
'nother nigger!" said Dinah, surveying the new 
arrival with no friendly air. " Won't have her 
round under my feet, / know !" 

"Pah!" said Rosa and Jane, with supreme 
disgust ; "let her keep out of our way ! What 
in the world Mas'r wanted another of these low 
niggers for, I can't see !" 

" You go long! No more nigger dan you be* 
Miss Rosa," said Dinah, who felt this last re- 
mark a reflection on herself. " You seem to tink 
yourself white folks. You an't nerry one, black 
nor white. I "d like to be one or turrer." 

Miss Ophelia saw that there was nobody in the 
camp that would undertake to oversee the cleans- 
ing and dressing of the new arrival ; and so she 
was forced to do it herself, with some very ungra- 
cious and reluctant assistance from Jane. 

It is not for cars polite to hear the particulars 
of the first toilet of a neglected, abused child. In 
fact, in this world, multitudes must live and die 
in a state that it would be too great a shock to 
the nerves of their fellow-mortals even to hear 
described. Miss Ophelia had a good, strong, 
practical deal of resolution ; and she went through 
all the disgusting details with heroic thorough- 
ness, though, it must be confessed, with no very 
gracious air, — for endurance was the utmost to 
which her principles could loving her. When 
she saw, on the back and shoulders of the child, 
great welts and calloused spots, ineffaceable 
marks of the system under which she had grown 
up thus far, her heart became pitiful within her. 

" See there !" said Jane, pointing to the marks, 
"don't that show she's a limb? We'll have 
fine works with her, I reckon. I hate these nig- 
ger young 'uns ! so disgusting ! I wonder that 
Mas'r would buy her !" 

The "young un " alluded to heard all these 
comments with the subdued and doleful air which 
seemed habitual to her, only scanning, with a 
keen and furtive glance of her flickering eyes, the 
ornaments which Jane wore in her ears. When 
arrayed at last in a suit of decent and whole 
clothing, her hair cropped short to her head, Miss 
Ophelia, with some satisfaction, said she looked 
more Christian-like than she did, and in her own 
mind began to mature some plans for her instruc- 
tion. 

"Sitting down before her, she began to question 
ber. 

" How old are you, Topsy ?" 



" Dun no, Missis," said the image, with a grin 
that showed all her teeth. 

" Don't know how old you are ? Did n't any>- 
body ever tell you? Who was your mother?" 

"Never had none!" said the child, with an- 
other grin. 

" Never had any mother? What do you mean? 
Where were you born ?" 

" Never was born !" persisted Topsy, with an- 
other grin, that looked so goblin-like, that, if Miss 
Ophelia had been at all nervous, she might have 
fancied that she had got hold of some sooty gnome 
from the land of Diablerie ; but Miss Ophelia 
was not nervous, but plain and business-like, and 
she said, with some sternness, 

" You mustn't answer me in that way, child; 
I 'm not playing with you. Tell me where you 
were born, and who your father and mother 
were." 

" Never was born," reiterated the creature, 
more emphatically; "never had no father nor 
mother, nor nothin'. I was raised by a specula*- 
tor, with lots of others. Old Aunt Sue used to 
take car on us." 

The child was evidently sincere ; and Jane, 
breaking into a short laugh, said, 

" Laws, Missis, there 's heaps of 'em. Specu- 
lators buys 'em up cheap, when they 's little, and 
gets 'em raised for market." 

" How long have you lived with your master 
and mistress?" 

" Dun no. Missis." 

" Is it a year, or more, or less ?" 

" Dun no, Missis. 

"Laws, Missis, those low negroes, — they 
can't tell ; they don't know anything about time," 
said Jane ; " the}' don't know what a year is ; 
they don't know their own ages." 

"Have vou ever heard anything about God, 
Topsy?" 

The child looked bewildered, but grinned as 
usual . 

" Do you know who made you?" 

" Nobody, as I knows on," said the child, with 
a short laugh. 

The idea appeared to amuse., her considerably ; 
for her eyes twinkled, and she added, 

" I spect I grow'd. Don't think nobody never 
made me." 

" Do you know how to sew?" said Miss Ophe- 
lia, who thought she would turn her inquiries x ft 
something more tangible. 

"No, Missis." 

"What can you do? — what did you Jo for 
your master and mistress?" 

" Fetch water, and wash dishes, and rub knives, 
and wait on folks." 

" Were they good to you?" 

"Spect they was," said the child, scanning 
Miss Ophelia cunningly. 

Miss Ophelia rose from this encouraging collo- 
quy ; St. Clare was leaning over the back of her 
chair. 

1 ' You find virgin soil there , cousin ; put in. 
your own ideas, — you won't find many to pull 

up.'; 

Miss Ophelia's ideas of education, like all her 
other ideas, were very set and definite ; and of 
the kind that prevailed in New England a century 
ago, and which are still preserved in some very 
retired and unsophisticated parts, where there 
are no railroads. As nearly as could be expressed, 
they could be comprised in very few words : To 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWT.V. 



93 



teach them to mind when they were spoken to ; 
to teach them the catechism, sewing, and read- 
ing; and to whip them if they told lies. And 
though, of course, in the flood of Light that is 
new poured on education, those are left far away 
in the rear, yet it is an undisputed fact that our 
. Imothers raised some tolerably fair men and 
women under this regime, as many of us can re- 
member and testify. At all events, Miss Ophelia 
know of nothing else to do ; and, therefore, ap- 
plied her 1 mind t > her heathen with the best dili- 
gence she could command. 

The child was announced and considered in the 
family as Miss Ophelia's girl; and, as she was 
looked upon with no gracious eye in the kitchen, 
Miss Ophelia resolved t> confine her sphere of 
operation and instruction chiefly to her own 
chamber. With a self-sacrifice which some of 
jur readers will appreciate, she resolved, instead 
of comfortably making her own bed; sweeping and 
dusting her own Chamber, — which she had hith- 
erto done, in utter scorn of all offers of help from 
the chambermaid of the establishment, — to con- 
demn hers 'If to the martyrdom of instructing Top- 
By to perform these operations, — ah, woe the day ! 
Did any of our readers ever do the same, they 
wiH appreciate the amount of her Belf-sacrifice. 

Miss Ophelia began with Topsy by taking her 
into her chamber, the first morning, and solemnly 
commencing a course of instruction in the art and 
mystery of bed-making. 

Behold, then, Topsy, washed and shorn of all 
the little braided tails whejpra her heart had de- 
lighted, arrayed in a clean gown, with well- 
starched apron, standing reverently before Miss 
Ophelia, with an expression of solemnity well 
befitting a funeral. 

" Now, Topsy, I'm going to show you just 
how my bed is to be made. I am very particular 
about my bed. You must learn exactly how to 
doit," 

"Yes, ma'am," says Topsy, with a deep sigh, 
and a face of Avoful earnestness. 

" Now, Topsy, look here ; — this is the hem of 
the sheet, — this is the right side of the sheet, 
and this is the wrong ; — Avill you remember ?" * 

"Yes, ma'am," says Topsy, with another 
sigh. 

" Well, now, the under sheet you must bring 
over the bolster, — so, — and tuck it clear down 
under the mattress nice and smooth, — so, — do 
you see ?" 

"Yes, ma'am," said Topsy, with profound 
attention. 

"But the upper sheet," said Miss Ophelia, 
" must be brought down in this way, and tucked 
under firm and smooth at the foot, — so, — the 
narrow hem at the foot." 

"Yes, ma'am," said Topsy, as before ; — but 
we will add, what Miss Ophelia did not see, that, 
during the time when the good lady's back was 
turned, in the zeal of her manipulations, the 
young disciple had contrived to snatch a pair of 
gloves and a ribbon, which she had adroitly 
slipped into her sleeves, and stood with her hands 
dutifully folded, as before. 

" Not*, Topsy, let 's see you do this," said 
Miss Ophelia, pulling off the clothes, and seating 
herself. 

- T°P s y, with great gravity and adroitness, went 
through the exercise completely to Miss Ophelia's 
satisfaction ; smoothing the sheets, patting out 
every wrinkle, and exhibiting, through the whole 



process, a gravity and seriousness with which her 
instructress was greatly edified. By an unlucky 
slip, however, a fluttering fragment of the ribbon 
hung out of one of her sleeves, just as she was 
finis! ling, and caught Miss Ophelia's attention. 
Instantly she pounced upon it, " What 's this? 
You naughty, wicked child, — you 've been steal- 
ing this !" 

The ribbon was pulled out of Topsy's own 
sleeve, yet was she not in the least disconcerted ; 
she only looked at it with an air of the most sur- 
prised and unconscious innocence. 

■• Laws! why, that ar 's Miss Fccly's ribbon, 
an't it ? How could it a got caught in my 
sleeve 7 ' ' 

" Topsy, you naughty girl, don't you tell me a 
lie, — you stole that ribbon !" 

" Missis, I declar for 't, I did n't ; — never seed 
it till dis yer blessed minit." 

" Topsy," said Miss "Ophelia, " don't you know 
it 's wicked to tell lies ?" 

" I never tells no lies, Miss Feely," said Topsy, 
with virtuous gravity ; " it 's jist the truth I 've 
been a tellin now. and an't nothin else." 

" Topsy, I shall have to whip } r ou, if you tell 
lies so." 

" Laws, Missis, if you 's to whip all day, 
couldn't say no other way," said Topsy, begin- 
ning to blubber. " I never seed dat ar, — it must 
a got caught in my sleeve. Miss Feely must have 
left it on the bed, and it got caught in the clothes, 
and so got in my sleeve." 

Miss Ophelia was so indignant at the barefaced 
lie, that she caught the child and shook her. 

" Don't you tell me that again !" 

The shake brought the gloves on to the floor, 
from the other sleeve. 

"There, you!" said Miss Ophelia, "will you 
tell me now r you did n't steal the ribbon?" 

Topsy now confessed to the gloves, but still 
persisted in denying the ribbon. 

" Now, Topsy," said Miss Ophelia, " if you '11 
confess all about it, I won't whip you this time." 
Thus adjured, Topsy confessed to the ribbon and 
gloves, with woful protestations of penitence. 

" Well, now, tell me. I know you must have 
taken other things since you have been in the 
house, for I let you run about all day yesterday. 
Now, tell me if you took anything, and I shan't 
whip you." 

" Laws, Missis ! I took Miss Eva's red thing 
she wars on her neck." 

"You did, you naughty child! — Well, what 
else?" 

" I took Rosa's yr r-rings, — them red ones." 

" Go bring them to me this minute, both of 
'em." 

"Laws, Missis! I can't, — they 's buynt 
up!" 

" Burnt up ! — what a story ! Gio get 'em, or 
I '11 whip you." 

Topsy, with loud protestations, and tears, and 
groans, declared that she could not. " They 's 
burnt up, — they was." 

" What did you burn 'em up for?" said Miss 
Ophelia. 

" Cause I 's wicked, — I is. I 's mighty wicked, 
anyhow. I can't help it." 

Just at this moment, Eva came innocently into 
the room, with the identical coral necklace on her 
neck. 

" Why, Eva, where did you get your necklace?" 
said Miss Ophelia 



94 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN .* OR, 



i; Get it ? Why, I 've had it on all day," said 
Eva. 

" Did you have it on yesterday?" 

" Yes ; and what is tunny, Aunty, I had it on 
all night. 1 forgot to take it off when I went to 
bed." 

Miss Ophelia looked perfectly bewildered ; the 
more so, as Rosa, at that instant, came into the 
room, with a basket of newly-ironed linen poised 
on her head, and the coral ear-drops shaking in 
her ears ! 

" I 'in sure I can't tell anything what to do 
with such a child !" she said, in despair. "What 
in the world did you tell me you took those things 
for, Topsy?" 

" Why, Missis said I must 'fess ; and I could n't 
think of nuthin else to 'fess," said Topsy, rubbing 
her ey ss. 

" But, of course, I didn't want 3-011 to confess 
things you did n't do," said Miss Ophelia : 
" that T s telling a lie. just as much as the 
other." 

'* Laws, now, is it? " said Topsy, with an air 
of innocent wonder. 

"L.i, there an't any such thing as truth in that 
limb," said Rosa, looking indignantly at Topsy. 
" If I was Mas'r St. dure, I "d whip her till the 
bl Kid ran. I would, — I *d let her catch it !" 

" No, no, Rosa," said Eva, with an air of com- 
mand, which the child could assume at times ; 
" you must n't talk so, Rosa. I can't bear to hear 
it.'" 

" La sakes ! Miss Eva, you 's so good, you don't 
kniw nothing how to L*:et alone with nigsrers. 
There s no way but to cut 'em well up, I tell ye." 

" Rosa !"' said Eva, "bush! Don't you say 
another word of that sort!" and the eye of the 
child flashed, and her cheek deepened its color. 

Rosi w.is cowed in a moment. 

" Miss Eva has got the St. Clare blood in her, 
that s pi rin. She can speak, for all the world, 
just like her papa," she said, as she passed out 
of the r 10m. 

Eva sfc » >d 1 lofting at Topsy. 

There stood the two caildren, representatives 
of two extremes of sieiety. The fair, high-bred 
child, with her g ilden head, her deep eyes, her 
spiritual, n ible brow, and prince-like movements; 
and her black, keen, subtle, cringing, yet acute 
luighb >r. They stood the representatives of their 
races. The Saxon, born of ages of cultivati m, 
command, education, physical and moral emi- 
nence; the Afric, bora of ages of oppression, 
Bubmissi hi, ignorance, toil, and vice! 

S imething, perhaps, of such thoughts strug2;le<i 
through Eva s mind. But a child s thoughts are 
rather dim, undefined instincts ; and in Eva's 
noble nature many such were yearning and work- 
ing, for which she had ru p >wer of utterance. 
When Miss Ophelia expatiated on Topsy s 
naughty, wicked conduct, the child looked per- 
plexed and s irrowful, but said, sweetly, 

"Poor Topsy, why need you steal? You're 
going t> be taken good care of, now. I 'm sure 
I 'd rather give you any tiling of mine, than have 
you steal it." 

It was the first word of kindness the child had 
ever heard in her life ; and the sweet tone and 
manner struck strangely on the wild, rude heart, 
and a sparkle of something like a tear shone in 
the keen, round, glittering eye ; but it was fol- 
lowed by the short lauga and habitual grin. 
No ! the ear that has never heard anything but, 



abuse is strangely incredulous of anything so 
heavenly as kindness ; and Topsy only thought 
Eva's speech something funny and inexplicable, 
— s'ae did not believe it. 

But what was to be done with Topsy ? Miss 
Ophelia found the case a puzzler ; her rules for 
bringing up didn't seem to apply. She thought 
she would take time to think of it ; and, by the 
way of gaining time, and in hopes of some indef- 
inite moral virtues supposed to be inherent in 
dark closets, Miss Ophelia shut Topsy up in one 
till she had arranged her ideas further on the 
subject. 

" I don't see," said Miss Ophelia to St. Clare, 
" hoAv I 'm going to manage that ;iiild, without 
whipping her." 

" Well, whip her, then, to your heart's vntent ; 
I '11 give you full power to do what you like " 

u Children always have to be whipped," said 
Miss Ophelia ; " I never heard of bringing them 
up without." 

" 0, well, certainly," said St. Clare: "do as 
you think best. Only I '11 make one suggestion : 
1 've seen this child whipped with a poker, 
knocked down with the shovel or tongs, which- 
ever came handiest, &c. ; and, seeing that she is 
used to that style of operation, I think your 
whippings will have to be pretty energetic, to 
make much impression." 

"What is to be done with her, then?" said 
Miss Ophelia. 

" You have started a serious question," said 
St. Clare ; " I wish fjou 'd answer it. What is 
to be done with a human being that can be gov- 
erned only by the lash, — that fails, — it "s a very 
common state of things down here !" 

" I *m sure I don t know ; I never saw such a 
child as this." 

"Such children are very common among us, 
and such men and women, too. How are they to 
be g tverned !" said St. Clare. 

"I'm sure it's more than I can say," said 
Miss Ophelia. 

"Or I either," said St. Clare. "The horrid 
cruelties and outrages that once in a while find 
their way into the papers, — such cases as Pruo's, 
for example, — what do they come from ? In 
many cases, it is a gradual hardening process on 
bath sides, — the owner growing more and more 
cruel, as the servant more and more callous. 
Whipping and abuse are like laudanum ; you 
have to double the dosj as the sensibilities de- 
cline. I saw this very early when I became an 
owner; and I resolved never to begin, because I 
did not know when I should stop, — and I re- 
s lived, at least, to protect my own moral nature, 
The consequence is, that my servants act liko 
spoiled children ; but I think that better than for 
us both to be brutalized together. You have 
talked a great deal about our responsibilities in 
educating, cousin. I really wanted you to try 
with one child, who is a specimen of thousands 
among us." 

" It is your system makes such children," said 
Miss Ophelia. 

" I know it ; but they are made, — they exist, 
and what is to be done with them?" 

" Well, I can't say I thank you for the experi- 
ment. But, then, as it appears to be a duty, I 
shall persevere and try, and do the best I can," 
said Miss Ophelia ; and Miss Ophelia, after this, 
did labor, with a commendable degree of zeal and 
^-crgy, on her new subject. She instituted regu- 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



95 



lar hours rind cmpl symonts for Iter, and undertook 
licr t i i",ii and to s sw. 
In tJi ! former art, the child was quick en High. 

S'' » 1 > urn sd her 1 x tt sra as if by m igic, and was 
kble to read plain reading; lmt the 
6 -\\ i i . - liificult matter. Lturc 

ifaa ; ' as active as a monkey, 

and the >f Bewing was her abomina- 

tion ; so he broke tern idles, threw them slyly 
out o i'a chinks of the walls ; 

b] • ; . and dirtied her thread, or, 

with a sly m >vement, would throw a spool away 
altogether. i 1 r motions were al quick as 

those of a practis I e ojurer, and her command 
of her I co quite :i> great; and though Mi^s 
•11 1 ( mid not help feeling that s > many 
ac i '. ? coul I ssibly happen in bu< 

sion, yet she could not, without a watchfulne - 
whi< 1 leave her no time for anything els \ 

detect b 

To] sv was s r>n a noted character in th<^ 
establishment, licr talent for every Bpecics of 
droll '.y. griuiace, and mimicry, — for dancing, 
tumbling, eliuibi i;- singing, whistling, imitating 
every 8 >und that i.ic her fancy, — seemed inex- 
ghaustihl ). In her play-hours, she invariably had 
every child in the establishment at her heels. 
open-in mt'i ' 1 with admiration and wonder, — 
not excepting Miss Eva, who appeared to l» i 
fa&inated by her wild diablerie, us a dove is 
Bometi ues charmed by a glittering serpent. Miss 
Ophelia was un jasy that bva should fancy Topsy's 
soci sty s > much, and iinplored St. Clare to for- 
bid it. 

"Poh! lot the child alone,'' said St. Clare. 
" Torsy will do her good." 

" lint s > depraved a child, — are you not afraid 
sne will teach her so.ne mischief''' 

" She can't teach her mischief; she might 
teach it t > s >.n> children, but evil rolls off Siva s 
mind like dew olf a cabbage-leaf, — njt a drop 
sinks in." 

"Drat 
know I (1 
Topsy." 

" Well, your children needn't," said St. Clare, 
" but mine may ; if Eva could have been spoiled, 
it would have been d mi years ag)." 

■Topsy was at first despised and contemned by 
the upper servants. They soon found reason to 
altor their opini >a. It was very s nn discovered 
that whoever cast an indignity on Topsy was sure 
tojmoet with some inconvenient accident shortly- 
after ; — either a p lir of ear-rings or sjme cher- 
ished trinket wjuld be missing, or an article of 
dress would be suddenly found utterly ruined, or 
the person, would stumble accidentally into a pall 
of hot water, or a lihation of dirty slap would un- 
accountably deluge them from above when in full 
gala dress; — and on all these occasions, when 
investig iti on was made, there was nobody found 
to stand sponsor for the indignity. Topsy was 
cited, and had up bjfore all the domestic judica- 
tories, time and ag da ; but always sustained her 
examinations with most edifying innocence and 
gravity of appearance. Nobody in the world 
ever doubted who did the things ;"but not a scrap 
of any direct evidence could be found to establish 
the suppositions, and Miss Ophelia was too just 
to feel at liberty to proceed to any lengths with- 
out it. 

The mischiefs done were always so nicely 
timed, also, as further to shelter the aggressor. 



1)3 t ) > sure," s\i 1 Miss Ophelia. " I 
never let a child of mine play with 



Thus, the timoa for re\cnge on Rosa and Jane, 
the two chamber-maids, were always chosen in 
those seasons when (as not unfrequently hap- 
pen I) they were in disgrace with their mistress, 
when any complaint from them would of course 
meet with no sympathy. In short, Topsy soon 
made the household understand the propriety of 
letting her alone ; and she was let alone accord- 
ingly. 

Topsy was smart and energetic in all manual 
operations, learning everything that was taught 
her with surprising quickness. With a few les- 
m ■■ she had learned to do the proprieties of .Miss 
Ophelia's chamber in away with which even that 
particular lady could find no fault. Mortal hands 
could not lay spread smoother, adjust pillows 
more accurately, sweep and dust and arrange 
m >re perfectly, than Topsy, when she chose, — 
[mt she didn't very often choose. If Miss Ophe- 
lia, after three or four days of careful and patient 
supervision, was so sanguine as to suppose that 
Topsy had at last fallen into her way, could do 
without overl joking, and so go off and busy her- 
self about something else, Topsy would hold a 
perfect carnival of confusion, for s >mo one or two 
hours. Instead of making the hod. she would 
amuse herself with pulling off the pillow-cases, 
hutting her wo >lly head among the pillows, till it 
would sometimes he grotesquely ornamented with 
feathers sticking out in various directions; she 
would climb the posts, and hang head downward 
from the tops ; 11 >urisb the sheets and spreads all 
over the apartment; dress the bolster up in Miss 
Ophelia's night-clothes, and enact various scenic 
perform mccs with that, — singing and whistling, 
and making grimaces at herself in the looking- 
glass ; in short, as Miss Ophelia phrased it, 
k - raising Cain'' generally. 

On one occasion, Miss Ophelia found Topsy 
with her very best scarlet India Canton crape 
shawl wound round her head for a turban, going 
on with her rehears lis before the glass in great 
style, — Miss Ophelia having, with carelessness 
most unheard of in her, left the key for once in 
her drawer. 

" Topsy !" she would s»y, when at the end of 
all patience, " what does make you act so 7 " 

" Dunno, Missis, — I spects cause I 's so 
wicked ! "' 

" I don't know anything what I shall do with 
you, Topsy.*' 

" Law, Missis, you must whip me ; my old 
Missis allers whipped me. I ant used to work- 
in' unless I gets whipped." 

" Why, Topsy. I don't want to whip you, 
You can do well, if you 've a mind to ; what is 
the reason you won't?" 

" Laws, Missis, I 's used to whippin' ; t spects 
it 's good for me." 

Miss Ophelia tried the recipe, and Topsy in- 
variably made a terrible commotion, screaming, 
groaning and imploring, though half an hour 
afterwards, when roosted on some projection of 
the balcony, and surrounded by a flock of admir- 
ing "young uns," she would express the utmost 
contempt of the whole affair. 

"Law, Miss Feely whip! — wouldn't kill a 
skeeter, her whippins ! Oughter see how old 
Mas J? made the flesh fly; old Mas'r know'd 
how!" 

Topsy always made great capital of her own 
sins and enormities, evidently considering them 
as something peculiarly distinguishing. 



96 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN I OR, 



" Law, you niggers," she would say to some 
of her auditors, " does you know you 's all sin- 
ners? Well, you is — everybody is. White 
folks is sinners too, — Miss Feely says so ; but I 
spects niggers is the biggest ones ; but Lor ! ye 
an't any on ye up to me. 1 "s so awful wicked 
there can't nobody do nothin' with me. I used 
to keep old Missis a swarin' at me half de time. 
I speets I 's the wickedest critter in the world ;" 
and Topsy would cut a summerset, and come up 
brisk and shining on to a higher perch, and evi- 
dently plume herself on the distinction. 

"But I's boun' to go to heaven, for all that, 
though," she said, one day, after an expose of this 
kind. 

" Why, how 's that, Tops?" said her master, 
who had been listening, quite amused. 

" Why, Miss Feely 's boun' to go, any way ; so 
they '11 have me thar. Laws ! Miss Feely 's so 
curous they won't none of 'em know how to wait 
on her." 

Miss Ophelia busied herself very earnestly on 
Sundays, teaching Topsy the catechism. Topsy 
had an uncommon verbal memory, and committed 
with a fluency that greatly encouraged her in- 
structress. 

" What good do you expect it is going to do 
her?" said St. Clare. 

" Why, it always has done children good. 
It 's what children always have to learn, you 
know," said Miss Ophelia. 

" Understand it or not," said St. Clare. 

"0, children never understand it at the time ; 
but, after they are grown up, it '11 come to them.*' 

" Mine has n't come to me. yet," said St. Clare, 
" though I "11 bear testimony that you put it into 
me pretty thoroughly, when I was a boy." 

" Ah, you were always good at learning, 
Augustine. I used to have great hopes of you," 
said Miss Ophelia. 

" Well, haven't you now?" said St. Clare, 

"I wish you were as good as you were when 
you were a boy, Augustine." 

"So do I, that's a fact, cousin," said St. 
Clare. "Well, go ahead and catechize Topsy; 
may be you '11 make out something yet." 

Topsy, who had stood like a black statue dur- 
ing this discussion, with hands decently folded, 
now, at a signal from Miss Ophelia, went on : 

" Our first parents, being left to the freedom 
of their own will, fell from the state wherein 
they were created." 

Topsy's eyes twinkled, and she looked inquir- 
ingly. 

" What is it, Topsy?" said Miss Ophelia. 

" Please, Missis, was dat ar state Kintuck?" 

"What state, Topsy?" 

"Dat state dey fell out of. I used to hear 
Mas'r tell how we came down from Kintuck." 

St. Clare laughed. 

" You '11 have to give her a meaning, or she '11 
make one," said he. "There seems to be a 
theory of emigration suggested there." 

" ! Augustine, be still," said Miss Ophelia ; 
" how can 1 do anything, if you will be laugh- 
ing?" 

" Well-, I won't disturb the exercises again, on 
my honor ;" and St. Clare took his paper into 
the parlor, and sat down, till Topsy had finished 
her recitations. They were all very well, only 
that now and then she would oddly transpose 
some important words, and persist in the mistake, 
in spite of every effort to the contrary ; and St. 



Clare, after all his promises of goodness, took a 
wicked pleasure in these mistakes, calling Topsy 
to him whenever he had a mind to amuse himself, 
and getting her to repeat the offending passages, 
in spite of Miss Ophelia's remonstrances. 

"How do you think I can do anything with 
the child, if you will go on so, Augustine?" she 
would say. 

"Well, it is too bad, — I won't again; but I 
do like to hear the droll little image stumble over 
those big words !" 

" But you confirm her in the wrong way." 

" What 's the odds? One word is as good as 
another to her." 

" You wanted me to bring her up right ; and 
you ought to remember she is a reasonable crea- 
ture, and be careful of your influence over her." 

"0, dismal ! so I ought ; but, as Topsy herself 
says, ' I 's so wicked !' " 

In very much this way Topsy's training pro- 
ceeded, for a year or two, — Miss Ophelia worry- 
ing herself, from day to day, with her, as a kind 
of chronic plague, to whose inflictions she became, 
in time, as accustomed as persons sometimes do 
to the neuralgia or sick head-ache. 

St. Clare took the same kind of amusement in 
the child that a man might in the tricks of a pai*- 
rot or a pointer. Topsy, whenever her sins 
brought her into disgrace in other quarters, 
always took refuge behind his chair ; and St. 
Clare, in one way or other, would make peace 
for her. From him she got many a stray picay- 
une, which she laid out in nuts and candies, and 
distributed, with careless generosity, to all the 
children in the family ; for Topsy, to do her jus- ' 
tico, was good-natured and liberal, and only 
spiteful in self-defence. She is fairly introduced 
into our corps dc ballet, and will figure, from time 
to time, in her turn, with other performers. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

KENTUCK. 

Our readers may not be unwilling to glance 
back, for a brief interval, at Uncle Tom's cabin, 
on the Kentucky farm, and see what has been 
transpiring among those whom he had left be- 
hind. 

It was late in the summer afternoon, and the 
doors and windows of the large parlor all stood 
open, to invite any stray breeze, that might feel 
in a good humor, to enter. Mr. Shelby sat in a 
large hall opening into the room, and running 
through the whole length of the house, to a bal- 
cony on either end. Leisurely tipped back in one 
chair, with his heels in another, he was enjoying 
his after-dinner cigar. Mrs. Shelby sat in the 
door, busy about some fine sewing ; she seemed 
like one who had something on her mind, which 
she was seeking an opportunity to introduce. 

"Do you know," she said, "that Chloe has 
had a letter from Tom ? " 

"Ah! has she? Tom's got some friend the^p, 
it seems. How is the old boy ?" 

" He has been bought by a very fine family, I 
should think," said Mrs. Shelby, — "is kindly 
treated, and has not much to do." 

" Ah ! well, I 'm glad of it, — very glad," said 
Mr. Shelby, heartily. "Tom, I suppose, will 
get reconciled to a Southern residence ; — hardly 
want to 'come. up here again." 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



97 



1 On the contrary, he inquires von- anxiously," 
said Mrs. Shelby, " when the money for his re- 
demption is to be raised." 

" L *m sure I don't know," said Mr. Shelby. 
"Once get business running "wrong, there does 
scorn to be no end to it. It 's like jumping from 
one bog to another, all through a swamp ; borrow 
of one r.) pay another, and then borrow of an- 
other to pay one, — and these confounded a 
falling due before a man has time to smoke a 
cigar and turn round, — dunning letters and 
dunning messages, — all scamper and hurry- 
scurry.'' 

" It does seem to me, my dear, that something 
miglit lie done to straighten matters. Suppose 
we sell off all the horses, and sell one of your 
farms, and pay up square?' 1 

"0, ridiculous, Emily! You arc the finest 
woman in Kentucky ; but still you haven't sense 
to know that you don't understand business; — 
women never do, and never can.'' 

" But, at least," said Mrs. Shelby, " could not 
you give me some little insight into yours ; a list 
of all your debts, at least, and of all that is owed 
to you, and let me try and sec if I can't help you 
to economize ?" 

"0, bother! don't plague me, Emily! — I 
can't tell exactly. I know somewhere about 
what things are likely to be ; but there 's no 
trimming and squaring my affairs, as Chloe trims 
crust off her pies. You don't know anything 
about business, I tell you." 

And Mr. Shelby, not knowing any other way of 
enforcing his ideas, raised his voice, — a mode 
of arguing very convenient and convincing, when 
a gentleman is discussing matters of business 
with his wife. 

Mrs. Shelby ceased talking, with something of 
a sigh. The fact was, that though her husband 
had stated she was a woman, she had a clear, en- 
ergetic, practical mind, and a force of character 
every way superior to that of her husband ; so 
that it would not have been so very absurd a sup- 
position, to have allowed her capable of man- 
aging, as Mr. Shelby supposed. Her heart was 
set on performing her promise to Tom and Aunt 
Chloe, and she sighed as discouragements thick- 
ened around her. 

" Don't you think we might in some way con- 
trive to raise that money ? Poor Aunt Chloe ! 
her heart is so set on it !" 

" I 'm sorry, if it is. I think I was premature 
in promising. I 'm not sure, now, but it 's the 
best way to tell Chloe, and let her make up her 
mind to it. Tom '11 have another wife, in a year 
or tw^o ; and she had better take up with some- 
body else." 

" Mr. Shelby, I have taught my people that 
their marriages are as sacred as ours. I never 
could think of giving Chloe such advice." 

"It's a pity, wife, that you have burdened 
them with a morality above their condition and 
prospects. I always thought so." 
§ "It's only the morality of the Bible, Mr. 
Shelby." 

" Well, well, Emily, I don't pretend to inter- 
fere with your religious notions ; only they seem 
'jiiremely unfitted for people in that condition." 

"They are, indeed," said Mrs. Shelby, "and 
that is why, from my soul, I hate the whole 
thing. I tell you, my dear, I cannot absolve my- 
self from the promises I make to these helpless 
creatures. If i can get the money no other way, 



T will take music-scholars ; — I could get enough, 
I know, and earn the money myself." 

"You wouldn't degrade yourself that way, 
Emily ? I never could consent to it." 

" Degrade ! would it degrade me as much as 
to break my faith with the helpless? No, inr 
deed !" 

" Well, you are always heroic arid transcend- 
ental," said Mr. Shelby, "but I think you had 
better think before you undertake such a piece of 
Quixotism." 

Here the conversation was interrupted by the 
appearance of Aunt Chloe, at the end of the 
veranda. 

ik If you please, Missis," said she. 

" Well, Chloe, what is it?" said her mistress, 
rising, and going to the end of the balcony. 

" If Missis would come and look at dis ye'r lot 
o' poetry." 

Chloe had a particular fancy for calling poul- 
try poetry, — an application of language in which 
she always persisted, notwithstanding frequent 
corrections and advisings from the young members 
of the family. 

"La sakes!" she would say, "I can't see; 
one jis good as turry, — poetry suthin good, any 
Iioav ;" and so poetry Chloe continued to call it. 

Mrs. Shelby smiled as she saw a prostrate lot 
of chickens and ducks, over which Chloe stood, 
with a very grave face of consideration. 

"I'm a thinkin' whether Missis would be a 
havin' a chicken pie o' dese yer." 

"Really, Aunt Chloe, I don't much care; — 
serve them any way you like." 

Chloe stood handling them over abstractedly ; 
it was quite evident that the chickens were not 
what she was thinking of. At last, with the 
short laugh with which her tribe often introduce 
a doubtful proposal, she said, 

"Laws me, Missis! what should Mas'r and 
Missis be a troublin' theirselves 'bout de money, 
and not a usin' what 's right in der hands?" and 
Chloe laughed again. 

"I don't understand you, Chloe," said Mrs. 
Shelby, nothing doubting, from her knowledge of 
Chloe's manner, that she had heard every word 
of the conversation that had passed betw r een her 
and her husband. 

" Why, laws me, Missis !" said Chloe, laugh- 
ing again, " other folks hires out der niggers and 
makes money on 'em ! Don't keep sich a tribe 
eatin' 'em out of house and home." 

" Well, Chloe, who do you propose that we 
should hire out?" 

" Law r s ! I an't aproposin' nothin' ; only Sam 
he said der was one of dese yer perfectioners, dey 
calls 'em, in Louisville, said he wanted a good 
hand at cake and pastr / ; and said he 'd give four 
dollars a week to one, he did." 

"Well, Chloe?" 

" Well, laws, I's a th.jikin, Missis, it's time 
Sally was put along to be doin' something. Sal- 
ly 's been under my care, now, dis some time, and 
she does most as well as me, considerin' ; and if 
Missis would only let me go, I would help fetch 
up de money. I an't afraid to put my cake, nor 
pies nother, 'long side no pcrfectioner''s. 

" Confectioner's, Chloe." 

" Law sakes, Missis ! 't an't no odds ; — words 
is so curis, can't never get 'em right !" 

" But, Chloe, do you want to leave your chnV 
dren ? ' ' 

" Laws, Missis ! de boys ia big enough to do 



98 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN I OR, 



day's works, dey does well enough ; and Sally, 
she '11 take de baby, — she 's such a peart young 
un, she won't take no lookin' arter." 

" Louisville is a good way off." 

"Law sakes ! who's afeard? — it's down 
river, somer near my old man, perhaps?" said 
Chloe, speaking the last in the tone of a question, 
and looking at Mrs. Shelby. 

" No, Chloe ; it 's many a hundred miles off," 
said Mrs. Shelby. 

Chloe's countenance fell. 

" Never mind ; your going there shall bring 
you nearer, Chloe. Yes, you may go ; and your 
wages shall every cent of them be laid aside for 
your husband's redemption." 

As when a bright sunbeam turns a dark cloud 
to silver, so Chloe's dark face brightened imme- 
diately, — it really shone. 

"Laws! if Missis isn't too good! I was 
thinking of dat ar very thing ; cause I should n't 
need no clothes, nor shoes, nor nothin', — I could 
save every cent. How many weeks is der in a 
year, Missis?" 

" Fifty-two," said Mrs. Shelby. 

"Laws! now, dere is? and four dollars for 
each on 'era. Why, how much 'd dat ar be?" 

"Two hundred and eight dollars," said Mrs. 
Shelby. 

" Why-e !" said Chloe, with an accent of sur- 
prise and delight ; " and how long would it take 
me to work it out, Missis?" 

"Some four or five years, Chloe; but, then, 
you needn't do it all, — I shall add something to 
it." 

" I would n't hear to Missis' givin' lessons nor 
nothin. Mas'r 's quite right in dat • ar ; — 
'twould n't do, no ways. I hope none our fam- 
ily ever be brought to dat ar, while I 's got 
hands." 

" Don't fear, Chloe ; I '11 take care of the honor 
of the family," said Mrs. Shelby, smiling. " But 
when do you expect to go ?" 

" Well, I want spectin' nothin' ; only Sam, he 's 
a gwine to de river with some colts, and he said 
I could go 'long with him ; so I jes put my things 
together. If Missis was willin', I 'd go with Sam 
to-morrow morning, if Missis would write my 
pass, and write me a commendation." 

" Weh\ Chloe, I '11 attend to it, if Mr. Shelby 
has no objections. I must speak to hira." 

Mrs. Shelby went up stairs, and Aunt Chloe, 
delighted, went out to her cabin, to make her 
preparation. 

" Law sakes, Mas'r George ! ye did n't know 
I'sa gwine to Louisville to-morrow !" she said to 
George, as, entering her cabin, he found her busy 
in sorting over her baby's clothes. " I thought 
I 'd jis look over sis's things, and get 'em straight- 
ened up. But I 'm gwine, Mas'r George, — gwine 
to have four dollars a week ; and Missis is gwine 
to lay it all up, to buy back my old man agin !" 

" Whew!" said George, " here 's a stroke of 
business, to be sure ! How are you going ?" 

" To-morrow, wid Sam. And now, Mas'r George, 
I knows you '11 jis sit down and write to my old 
man, and tell him all about it, — won't ye ?" 

" To be sure," said George ; " Uncle Tom '11 be 
right glad to hear from us. I '11 go right in the 
house, for paper and ink ; and then, you know, 
Aunt Chloe, I can tell about the new colts and 
all." 

" Sartin, sartin, Mas'r George ; you go 'long, 
and I '11 get ye up a bit o' chicken, or some sich ; 



ye won't have many more suppers wid yer poo* 
old aunty." 



CHAPTER XXII. 

"THE GRASS WITHERETH THE FLOWER FADETH.'' 

Life passes, with us all, a day at a time ; so it 
passed with our friend Tom, till two years were 
gone. Though parted from all his soul held dear 
and though often yearning for what lay beyond 
still was he "never positively and .consciously mi» 
erable ; for, so well is the harp of human feeling 
strung, that nothing but a crash that breaks every 
string can wholly mar its harmony ; and. on look- 
ing back to seasons Which in review appear to us 
as those of deprivation and trial, we can remember 
that each hour, as it glided, brought its diversions 
and alleviations, so that, though not happy wholly, 
we were not, either, wholly miserable. 

Tom read, in his only literary cabinet, of one 
who had " learned in whatsoever state he was, 
therewith to be content." It seemed to him good 
and reasonable doctrine, and accorded well with 
the settled and thoughtful habit which he had 
acquired from the reading of that same book. 

His letter homeward, as we related in the last 
chapter, was in due time answered by Master 
George, in a good, .round, school-boy hand, that 



Tom said might be read " most acrost the room." 
It contained various refreshing items of home 
intelligence, with which our reader is fully ac- 
quainted : stated how Aunt Chloe had been hired 
out to a confectioner in Louisville, where her skill 
in the pastry line was gaining wonderful sums of 
money, all of which, Tom was informed, was to be 
laid up to go to make up the sum of his redemp- 
tion money ; Mose and Pete were thriving, and 
the baby was trotting all about the house, under 
the care of Sally and the family generally. 

Tom's cabin was shut up for the present ; but 
George expatiated brilliantly on ornaments and 
additions to be made to it when Tom came back. 

The rest of this letter gave a list of George's 
school studies, each one headed by a flourishing 
capital ; and also told the names of four new colts 
that appeared on the premises since Tom left ; and 
stated, in the same connection, that father and 
mother were well. The style of the letter was 
decidedly concise and terse ; but Tom thought i* 
the most wonderful specimen of composition that 
had appeared in modern times. He was never 
tired of looking at it, and even held a council with 
Eva on the expediency of getting it framed, to 
hang up in his room. Nothing but the difficulty 
of arranging it so that both sides of the page 
would show at once stood in the way of this un- 
dertaking. 

The friendship between Tom and Eva had grown 
with the child's growth. It would be hard to say 
what place she held in the soft, impressible heart 
of her faithful attendant. He loved her as some 
thing frail and earthly, yet almost worshipped hei 
as something heavenly and divine. He gazed on g 
her as the Italian sailor gazes on his image of the* 
child Jesus, — with a mixture of reverence and 
tenderness; and to humor her graceful fancies, and 
meet those thousand simple wants which invest 
childhood like a many-colored rainbow, was Tom's 
chief delight. In the market, at morning, his 
eyes were always on the flower-stalls for rare 
bouquets for her, and the choicest peach or orange 
was slipped into his pockrft to give to her when lie 



LIFE AMONG TIIE LOWLY. 



99 



came back ; and the Bight that pleased him most 
was lior sunny head lookilig out the gate lor his 

distant approach, and Ikt childish question, — 
*' Well, Uncle Tom, what have you got for ine to- 
day?-' 

Nor was Eva Lees zealous in kind offices, in 
return. Though a child, she was a beautiful 
reader ; — a line musical car, a quick poetic fancy, 
and an instinctive sympathy with what is grand 
and noble, made her such a reader of the Bible as 
Tom had never before heard. At first, she read to 
please her humble friend ; but soon her own ear- 
nest nature threw out its tendrils, and wound 
itself around the majestic hook, and Eva loved it, 
because it woke in her strange yearnings, and 
Strong, dim eraoti >ns, such as impassioned, imag- 
inative children love to feel. 

The parts that pleased her most were the Reve- 
lations and the Prophecies, — parts whose dim 
and wondrous imagery, and fervent language, im- 
pressed her the more, that she questioned vainly 
of their meaning; — and she and her simple 
friend, the old child and the young one, felt just 
alike about it. All that they knew was, that they 
spoke of a glory to he revealed, — a wondrous 
something yet to come, wherein their soul re- 
joiced, yet knew not why ; and though it he not so 
in the physical, yet in moral science that which 
cannot lie understood is not always profitless. For 
the soul awakes, a trembling stranger, between two 
dim eternities. — the eternal past, the eternal fu- 
ture. The light shines only on a small space 
around her ; therefore, she needs must yearn 
towards the unknown ; and the voices and shadowy 
movings which come to her from out the cloudy 
pillar of inspiration have each one echoes and an- 
swers in her own expecting nature. Its mystic 
imagery are so many talismans and gems inscribed 
with unknown hieroglyphics; she folds them in 
her bosom, and expects to read them when she 
passes beyond the veil. 

At this time in our story, the whole St. Clare 
establishment is, for the time being, removed to 
their villa on Lake.Pontchartrain. The heats of 
summer had driven all, who were able to leave the 
sultry and unhealthy city, to seek the shores of 
the Like, and its cool sea-breezes. 

St. Clare's villa was an East Indian cottage, 
surrounded by light verandas of bamboo-work, 
and opening on all sides into gardens and pleas- 
ure-grounds. The common sitting-room opened 
on to a largo garden, fragrant with every pictur- 
esque plant and. flower of the tropics, where wind- 
ing paths ran down to the very shores of the lake, 
whose silvery sheet of water lay there, rising and 
falling in the sunbeams, — a picture never for an 
hour the same, yet every hour more beautiful. 

It is now one of those intensely golden sun- 
sets which kindle the wdiole horizon into one 
blaze of glory, and make the w r ater another sky. 
The lake lay in rosy or golden streaks, save where 
white-winged vessels glided hither and thither, 
like so many spirits, and little golden stars 
twinkled through the glow, and looked down at 
themselves as they trembled in the water. 

Tom and Eva were seated on a little mossy seat, 
in an arbor, at the foot of the garden. It was 
Sunday evening, and Eva's Bible lay open on her 
knee. She read, — " And I saw a sea of glass, 
mingled with fire." 

"Tom," said Eva, suddenly stopping, and 
pointing to the lake, " there 'tis." 

" What, Miss Eva?" 



"Don't you see, — there?" said the child, 
pointing to the glassy water, which, as it rose 
and fell, reflected the golden glow of the sky. 
" There 's a ' sea of glass, mingled with fire.' " 

" True enough, Miss Eva," said Tom ; and Tom 
sang — 

" 0, had I the wings of the morning, 
I 'd fly away to Canaan's shore ; 
Bright angels should convey ine home, 
To the new Jerusalem." 

" "Where do you suppose new Jerusalem is, 
Uncle Tom?" said Eva. 

" 0, up in the clouds, Miss Eva." 

" Then I think I see it," said Eva. " Look in 
those clouds! — they look like great gates of 
pearl ; and you can see beyond them — far, far 
off — it 's all gold. Tom, sing about ' spirits 
bright.'" 

Tom sung the words of a well-known Methodist 
hymn, 

" I see a hand of spirits bright, 
That taste the glories there : 
They all are robed in spotless white, 
And conquering palms they bear.'* 

" Uncle Tom, I 'vc seen them" said Eva. 

Tom had no doubt of it at all ; it did not sur- 
prise him in the least. If Eva had told him she 
had been to heaven, he would have thought it 
entirely probable. 

" They come to me sometimes in my sleep, 
those spirits ;" and Eva's eyes grew dreamy, and 
she hummed, in a low voice, 

" They all are robed in spotless white, 
And conquering palms they bear." 

" Uncle Tom," said Eva, " I 'm going there." 

"Where, Miss Eva?" 

The child rose, and pointed her little hand to 
the sky : the glow of evening lit her golden hair 
and flushed cheek with a kind of unearthly 
radiance, and her eyes were bent earnestly on the 
skies. 

"I 'ingoing Mere," she said, " to the spirits 
bright, Tom ; 1 hn going before long." 

The faithful old heart felt a sudden thrust; 
and Tom thought how often he had noticed, 
within six months, that Eva's little hands had 
grown thinner, and her skin more transparent, and 
her breath shorter ; and how, when she ran or 
played in the garden, as she once could for hours, 
she became soon so tired and languid. He had 
heard Miss Ophelia spensk often of a cough, that 
all her medicaments could not cure ; and even 
now that fervent cheek and little hand wore burn- 
ing with hectic fever ; and yet the thought that 
Eva's words suggested had never come to him till 
now. 

Has there ever been a child like Eva? Yes, 
there have been ; but their names are always on 
grave-stones, and their sweet smiles, their heav- 
enly eyes, their singular w r ords and ways, are 
amono- the buried treasures of yearning hearts. 
In how many families do you hear the legend that 
all the goodness and graces of the living are 
nothing to the peculiar charms of one who is not ! 
It is as if heaven had an especial band of angels, 
whose office it was to sojourn for a season here, 
and endear to them the wayward human heart, 
that they might bear it upward with them in 
their homeward flight. When you see that deep, 
spiritual light in the eye, — when the little soul 
reveals itself in words sweeter and wiser than 



100 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR, 



tho ordinary words of children, — hope not to 
retain that child ; for the seal of heaven is on it, 
and the light of immortality looks out from its 
eyes. 

Even so, beloved Eva ! fair star of thy dwell- 
ing ! Thou art passing away ; but they that love 
thee dearest know it not. 

The colloquy between Tom and Eva was inter- 
rupted by a hasty call from Miss Ophelia. 

"Eva — Eva — why, child, the dew is fall- 
ing; you must n't be out there !" 

Eva and Tom hastened in. 

Miss Ophelia was old and skilled in the tac- 
tics of nursing. She was from New England, and 
knew well the first guileful footsteps of that soft, 
insidious disease, which sweeps away so many 
of the fairest and loveliest, and, before one fibre 
of life seems broken, seals them irrevocably for 
death. 

She had noted the slight, dry cough, the daily 
brightening cheek ; nor could the lustre of the 
eye, and the airy buoyancy, born of fever, deceive 
her. 

She tried to communicate her fears to St. Clare ; 
but he threw back her su<™;estions with a rest- 
less petulance, unlike his usual careless good- 
humor. 

" Don't be croaking, cousin, — I hate it !" he 
would say ; " don't you see that the child is only 
growing ? Children always lose strength when 
they grow fast." 

'• Bat she has that cough !*' 

" ! nonsense of that cough ! — it 's not any- 
thing. She has taken a little cold, perhaps." 

" Well, that was just the way Eliza Jane was 
taken, and Ellen and Maria Sanders." 

" ! stop these hobgoblin nurse legends. You 
old hands get so wise, that a child cannot cough, 
or sneeze, but you see desperation and ruin at 
hand. Only take care of the child, keep her from 
the night air, and don't let her play too hard, and 
ahe '11 do well enough." 

So St. Clare said ; but he grew nervous and 
restless. He watched Eva feverishly day by day, 
as might be told by the frequency with which he 
repeated over that " the child was quite well," — 
that there wasn't anything in that cough, — it 
was only some little stomach affection, such as 
children often had. But he kept by her more 
than before, took her oftener to ride with him, 
brought home every few days some receipt or 
strengthening mixture, — " not," he said, " that 
the child needed it, but then it would not do her 
any harm." 

If it must be told, the thing that struck a deep- 
er pang to his heart than anything else was the 
daily increasing maturity of the child's mind and 
feelings. While still retaining all a child's fan- 
ciful graces, yet she often dropped, unconsciously, 
words of such a reach of thought, and strange 
unworldly wisdom, that they seemed to be an in- 
spiration. At such times, St. Clare would feel a 
sudden thrill, and clasp her in his arms, as if 
that fond clasp could save her ; and his heart 
rose up with wild determination to keep her, 
never to let her go. 

The child's whole heart and soul seemed ab- 
sorbed in works of love and kindness. Impul- 
sively generous she had always been ; but there 
was a touching and womanly thought fulness 
akbout her now, that every one noticed. She still 
Un'ed to play with Topsy, and the various colored 
children ; but she now seomed rather a spectator 



than an actor of their plays, and she would sit 
for half an hour at a time, laughiwc at the odd 
tricks of Topsy, — and then a shadow would seem 
to pass across her face, her eyes grew misty, and 
her thoughts were afar. 

" Mamma," she said, suddenly, to her mother, 
one day, "why don't we teach our servants to 
read?" 

" What a question, child ! People never do.'* 

" Why don't they?" said Eva. 

" Because it is no use for them to read. It 
don't help them to work any better, and they are 
not made for anything else." 

"But they ought to read the Bible, mamma, 
to learn God's will." 

" ! they can get that read to them all they 
need." 

" It seems to me, mamma, the Bible is for 
every one to read themselves. They need it a 
great many times when there is nobody to read 
it." 

" Eva, you are an odd child," said her mother. 

"Miss Ophelia has taught Topsy to read," 
continued Eva. 

" Yes, and you see how much good it does. 
Topsy is the worst creature I ever saw !" 

"Hero's poor Mammy!" said Eva. "She 
does love the Bible so much, and wishes so she 
could read ! And what will she do when I can't 
read to her?" 

Marie was busy, turning over tho contents of a 
drawer, as she answered, 

" Well, of course, by and by, Eva, you will 
have other things to think of, besides reading the 
Bible round to servants. Not but that is very 
proper ; I we done it myself, when I had health. 
But when you come to be dressing and going into 
company, you won't have time. See here !" she 
added, " these jewels I 'ni going to give you when 
you come out. I wore them to my first ball. I 
can tell you, Eva, I made a sensation." 

Eva took the jewel-case, and lifted from it a 
diamond necklace. Her large, thoughtful eyes 
rested on them, but it was plain her thoughts 
were elsewhere. 

" How sober you look, child !" said Marie. 

"Are these worth a great deal of money, 
mamma?" 

" To l)e sure, they are. Father sent to France 
for them. They are worth a small fortune." 

" I wish I had them," said Eva, " to do what 
I pleased with !" 

" What would you do with them?" 

" I 'd sell them, and buy a place in the free 
states, and take all our people there, and hire 
teachers, to teach them to read and write." 

Eva was cut short by her mother's laughing. 

"Set up a boarding-school! Wouldn't you 
teach them to play on the piano, and paint on 
velvet?" 

" I 'd teach them to read their own Bible, and 
write their own letters, and read letters that are 
written to them," said Eva, steadily. " I know, 
mamma, it does come very hard on them, that' 
they can't do these things. Tom feels it, — •' 
Mammy does, — a great many of them do. I 
think it 's wrong." 

"Come, come, Eva; you are only a child! 
You don't know anything about these things," 
said Marie; "besides, your talking makes my 
head ache." 

Marie always had a head-ache on hand for any 
conversation that did not exactly suit her. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



101 



away : but after that, she assiduously 
Mommy reading ' u 



CHAPTER Will. 

NRIQUB. 

About this tii S Clare's brother Alfred, 
with his eldest son, a boy of twelve, Bpent a day 
or two with the family at the lake. 

No right could be more singular and beautiful 
than that of these twin brothers. Nature, instead 
of institutio between them, had 

made them op] - - on every point; yel a 
mysterious I d to unite them in a d 

friendship than ordinary. 

They used to saunter, arm in arm, up and down 
the alleys and walks of the garden. Augustine,, 
with his blu d golden hair, his ethereally 

flexible form and vivacious features : and Alfred, 
dark-eyed, with haughty Roman profile, firmly- 
knit Limbs, and decided bearing. They were al- 
ways abusing each other's opinions and practices, 
and yet never a whit the Lea rbed in each 

other's society; in fact, the very contrariety 
seemed to unite them, like the attraction between 
opposite poles of the magnet. 

Henrique, the eldest a m of Alfred, was a no- 
ble, dark-eyed, princely boy, full of vivacity and 
spirit ; and. from t\\v, first moment of introduc- 
tion, seemed to be perfectly fascinated by the 
apirituelle graces of his cousin Evangeline. 

Eva had a little pet pony, of a snowy white- 
ness. It was easy as a cradle, and as gentle as 
its little mistress ; and this pony was now br lught 
up to the back veranda by Tom. while a little 
mulatto boy of about thirteen led along a small 
black Arabian, which had just been imported, at 
a great expense, for Henrique. 

Henrique had a boy's pride in his new pos- 
session ; and, as he advanced and took the reins 
out of the hands of his little groom, he looked 
carefully over him, and his brow darkened. 

" What 's this, Dodo, you little lazy dog ! you 
haven't rubbed my horse down, this morning." 

"Yes, Mas'r," said Dodo, submissively; "lie 
got that dust on his own self." 

" You rascal, shut your mouth ! " said Henrique, 
Violently raising his riding-whip. " How dare 
you speak ?" 

The boy was a handsome, bright-eyed mulatto, 
Of just Henrique's size, and bis curling hair hung 
round a high, bold forehead. He had white blood 
in his veins, as could be seen by the quick flush 
in his cheek, and the sparkle of his eye, as he 
eagerly tried to speak 

" Mas'r Henrique ! - 

Henrique struck him across the face with his 
riding-whip, and, seizing one of his arms, forced 
him on to his knees, and beat him till he was out 
of breath. 

" There, you impudent dog ! Now will you 
learn not to answer back when I speak to you ? 
Take the horse back, and clean him properly. 
I Tl teach you your place !" 

" Young Mas'r," said Tom, " I specs what he 
was gwine to say was, that the horse would roll 
when he was bringing him up from the stable ; 
he's so full of spirits, — that's the way he got 
that dirt on him ; I looked to his cleaning." 

" You hold your tongue till you 're asked to 
speak!" said Henrique, turning on his heel, and 



he began. 



walking u\-> the steps to speak to Eva, who stood 
in her riding-dress. 

" Dear cousin, I 'm sorry tins stupid fellow has 
kept you waiting," he said, "Let's sit down 
here, on this seat, till they come. AY hat's the 
matt in ? — you look sober." 

" How could you be so cruel and wicked to 
poor i ►"do ?" said Eva. 

"Cruel, — wicked !" said the boy, with unafl- 
1 surprise. " What do you mean, dear Eva?" 

" I don't want you to call me dear Eva, when 
you do BO," said Kva. 

"Doar cousin, you don't know Dodo; it's the 
only way to manage him, he 's so full of lies and 
excuses. The only way is to put him down at 
once. — no( let him open bis mouth ; that's the 
way papa manages." 

" But Uncle Tom said it was an accident, and 
he never tells what isn't true." 

" lie's an uncommon old nigger, then!" said 
Henrique. "Dodo will lie as fast as he can 
speak. " 

" Yon frighten him into deceiving, if you treat 
him BO." 

'• Why, Eva, you 've really taken such a fancy 
to Dodo, that 1 shall be jealous." 

" But you beat him, — and he didn't deserve 

U 1) 

1l. 

" (), well, it may go for some time when he 

. and don't get it. A few cuts never come 

amiss with Dodo, — he 's a regular spirit, I can 

tell you : but I won't beat him again before you, 

if it troubles you." 

Eva was not satisfied, hut found it in vain to 
try i ) make her handsome cousin understand her 

feelings. 

Dodo soon appeared, with the horses. 
"Well, Dodo you've done pretty well, this 
I time," said his young master, with a more gra- 
j cious air. " Come, now, and bold Miss Eva's 
I horse, while I put her on to the saddle." 

Dodo came and stood by Eva's pony. His face 
i was troubled ; his eyes looked as if he had been 
! crying. 

Henrique, who valued himself on his gentle- 
I manly adroitness in all matters of gallantry, soon 
I had his fair cousin in the saddle, and, gathering 
the reins, placed them in her han<is. 

But Eva bent to the other side of the horse, 
j where Dodo was standing, and said, as he re- 
| linquished the reins, — "That's a good boy, 
J Dodo ; — thank you !" 

Dodo looked up in amazement into the sweet 
j young face ; the blood rushed to his cheeks, and 
the tears to his eyas. 

" Here, Dodo," said his master, imperiously. 
Dodo sprang and held the horse, while his 
master mounted. 

"There's a picayune for you to buy candy 
with, Dodo," said Henrique ; " go get some." 

And Henrique cantered down the walk after 
Eva. Dodo stood looking after the two children. 
One had given him money ; and one had given 
him what he wanted far more, — a kind wo*rd, 
kindly spoken. Dodo had been only a few months 
away from his mother. His master had bought 
him at a slave warehouse, for his handsome face,, 
to be a match to the handsome pony ; and he wa? 
now getting his breaking in, at the hands of his 
young master. 

The scene of the beating had been witnessed 
by the two brothers St. Clare, from another pa» 
of the garden. 



102 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN I OR, 



Augustine's cheek flushed ; but he only observed, 
with his usual sarcastic carelessness, 

" 1 suppose that 's what we may call republi- 
can education, Alfred !" 

"Henrique is a devil of a fellow, when his 
blood 's up," said Alfred, carelessly. 

"I suppose you consider this an instructive 
practice for him," said Augustine, dryly. 

" I couldn't help it, if I didn't. Henrique is 
a regular little tempest ; — his mother and I have 
given him up, long ago. But, then, that Dodo is 
a perfect sprite, — no amount of whipping can 
hurt him." 

" And this by way of teaching Henrique the 
first verse of a republican's catechism, ' All men 
are born free and equal !' " 

" Poh !" said Alfred ; " one of Tom Jefferson's 
pieces of French sentiment and humbug. It 's 
perfectly ridiculous to have that going the rounds 
among us, to this day." 

" I think it is," said St. Clare, significantly. 

" Because," said Alfred, " we can see plainly 
enough that all men are not born free, rtor born 
equal ; they are born anything else. For my 
part, I think half this republican talk sheer hum- 
bug. It is the educated, the intelligent, the 
wealthy, the refined, who ought to have equal 
rights, and not the' canaille." 

" If you can keep the canaille of that opinion," 
said Augustine. " They took their turn once, in 
France." 

" Of course, they must be kept dozen, consist- 
ently, steadily, as I should," said Alfred, setting 
his foot hard down, as if he were standing on 
somebody. 

" It makes a terrible slip when they'get up," 
said Augustine, — "in St. Domingo, for in- 
stance." 

" Poh !" said Alfred, " we '11 take care of that, 
in this country. We must set our face against 
all this educating, elevating talk, that is getting 
about now ; the lower class must not be edu- 
cated." 

" That is past praying for," said Augustine; 
" educated they will be, and we have only to say 
how. Our system is educating them in barbar- 
ism and brutality. We are breaking all human- 
izing ties, andimaking them brute .beasts ; and, 
if they get the upper hand, such we shall find 
them." 

" They never shall get the upper hand !" said 
Alfred. 

" That 's right," said St. Clare ; " put on the 
steam, fasten down the escape- valve, and sit on 
it, and see where you '11 land." 

"Well," said Alfred, "we will see. I'm 
not afraid to sit on the escape-valve, as long as 
the boilers are strong, and the machinery works 
well " 

"The nobles in Louis XVI. 's time thought 
just so ; and Austria and Pius IX. think so now : 
and, some pleasant morning, you may all be 
caught up to meet each other in the air, when the 
hoilers burst." 

" Dies declarabit," said Alfred, laughing. 

"I tell you," said Augustine, "if there is 
anything that is revealed with the strength of a 
divine law in our times, it is that the masses 
are to rise, and the under class become the upper 
one." 

" That 's one of your red republican humbugs, 
Augustine ! Why did n't you ever take to the 
stump- — you'd make a famous stump orator! 



Well, I hope I shall be dead before this millen- 
nium of your greasy masses comes on." 

" Greasy or not greasy, they will govern you, 
when their time comes," said Augustine; "and 
they will be just such rulers as you make them. 
The French noblesse chose to have the people 
' sans culottes,' and they had ' sans culolte'' gov- 
ernors to their hearts' content. The people of 
Hayti— " 

"0, come, Augustine! as if we hadn't had 
enough of that abominable, contemptible Hayti ! 
The Haytiens were not Anglo-Saxons ; if they 
had been, there would have been another story. 
The Anglo-Saxon is the dominant race of the 
world, and is to be so." 

"Well, there is a pretty fair infusion of Anglo- 
Saxon blood among our slaves, now," said Au- 
gustine. " There are plenty among them who 
have only enough of the African to give a sort of 
tropical warmth and fervor to our calculating 
firmness and foresight. If ever the San Domingo 
hour comes, Anglo-Saxon blood will lead on the 
day. Sons of white fathers, with all our haughty 
feelings burning in their veins, will not always 
be bought and sold and traded. They will rise, 
and raise with them their mother's race." 

" Stuff! — nonsense!" 

" Well," said Augustine, " there goes an old 
saying to this effect, 'As it was in the days of 
Noah, so shall it be ; — they drank, they planted, 
they builded, and knew not till the flood came 
and took them.' " 

" On the whole, Augustine, I think your 
talents might do Or a circuit rider," said Alfred r 
laughing. " Never you fear for us ; possession 
is our nine points. We 've got the power. This 
subject race," said he, stamping firmly, " is 
down, and shall stay down ! We have energy 
enough to manage our own powder." 

" Sons trained like your Henrique will be 
grand guardians of your powder-magazines," said 
Augustine, — "so cool and self-possessed! The 
proverb says, ' They that cannot govern them- 
selves cannot govern others.' " 

"There is a trouble there," said Alfred, 
thoughtfully ; " there 's no doubt that our system 
is a difficult one to train children under. It gives 
too free scope to the passions, altogether, which, 
in our climate, are hot enough. I find trouble 
with Henrique. The boy is generous and warm- 
hearted, but a- perfect f re-cracker when excited. 
I believe I shall send him North for his educa- 
tion, where obedience i3 more fashionable, and 
where he will associate more with equals and 
less with dependents." 

" Since training children is the staple work of 
the human race," said Augustine, " I should 
think it something of a consideration that our 
system does not work well there." 

" It does not for some things," said Alfred ; 
" for others, again, it does. It makes boys manly 
and courageous ; and the very vices of an abject 
race tend to strengthen in them the opposite vir- 
tues. I think Henrique, now, has a keener sense 
of the beauty of truth, from seeing lying and 
deception the universal badge of slavery." 

"A Christian-like view of the subject, cer- 
tainly !" said Augustine. 

" It 's true, Christian-like or not ; and is about 
as Christian-like as most other things in the 
world," said Alfred. 

" That may be," said St. Clare. 

" Well, there 's no use in talking, Augustine. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



103 



t believe WO *W beeii round and round this old 
track five hundred times, more or less. What do 
you say to u game of back-gammon?" 

The two brothers ran up the veranda stops, and 
crare soon seated at a light bamboo stand, with 
the backgammon-board between them. As they 
were setting their men, Alfred said, 

" 1 tell yon, Augustine, if I thought as you do, 
I should do something,." 

" 1 dare say you would, — you arc one of the 
doing s >rt, — hut what 7 " 

" Why. elevate your own servants, for a speci- 
men," s.iid Alfred, with a half-scornful smile. 

" You might as well set Mount .Etna on them 
flat, and tell them to stand up under it, as tell 
me to elevate my servants under all the superin- 
cumbent mass of society upon them. One man 
can do nothing, against the whole action of a 
community. rMucation, to do anything, must be 
a state education ; or there must he enough 
agreed in it. to make a current." 

" You take the first throw," said Alfred ; and 
the brothers were soon lost in the game, and 
heard no more till the scraping of horses' feet 
was heard under the veranda. 

"There come the children," said Augustine, 
rising. " Look here, Alf ! Did you ever see 
anything so beautiful I" And, in truth, it was a 
beautiful sight, Henrique, with his hold brow, 
and dark, glossy curls, and glowing cheek, Was 
laughing gayly, as he bent towards his fair 
cousin, as they came. on. She was dressed in a 
blue riding-dress, with a cap of the same color. 
Exercise had given a brilliant hue to her* cheeks, 
and heightened the effect of her singularly trans- 
parent skin, and golden hair. 

" Good heavens ! what perfectly dazzling beau- 
ty!" said Alfred. "I tell you, Auguste, won't 
she make some hearts ache, one of these days?" 

" She will, too truly, — God knows I 'in afraid 
so !" said St. Clare, in a tone of sudden bitter- 
ness, as he hurried down to take her off her horse. 

"Eva, darling! you're not much tired?" he 
said, as he clasped her in his arms. 

"No, papa," said the child; but her short, 
hard breathing alarmed her father. 

" How could you ride so fast, dear? — you 
know it 's bad for you." 

" I felt so well, papa, and liked it so much, I 
forgot. ' ' 

St. Clare carried her in his arms into the par- 
lor, and laid her on the sofa. 

"Henrique, you must be careful of Eva," said 
he ; " you must n't ride fast with her." 

" I '11 take her under my care," said Henrique, 
seating himself by the sofa, and taking Eva's 
hand. 

Eva soon found herself much better. Her father 
and uncle resumed their game, and the children 
were left together. 

" Do you know, Eva, I 'm so sorry papa is only 
going to stay two days here, and then I shan't 
see you again for ever so Jong ! If I stay with 
you, I 'd try to be good, and not be cross to Dodo, 
and so on. I don't mean to treat Dodo ill ; but, 
you know, I 've got such a quick temper. I 'm 
not really bad to him, though. I give him a 
picayune, now and then ; and you see he dresses 
well. I think, on the whole, Dodo 's pretty well 
off." 

" "Would you think you were well off, if there 
were not one creature in the world near you to 
love you 1 ' ' 



" I? — Well, of course not." 

" And you have taken Dodo away from all the 
friends he ever had, and now he has not a crea- 
ture to love him ; — nobody can be good that 
way." 

" Well, T can't help it, as I know of. I can't 
get his mother, and I can't love him myself, nor 
anybody else, as I know of." 

" Why can't you ?" said Eva. 

'■'■Love Dodo ! Why, Eva, you would n't have 
me ! 1 may like him well enough ; but you don't 
love your servants." 

" I do, indeed." 

" How odd !" 

" Don't the Bible say we must love every- 
body r 

' k O, the Bible ! To be sure, it says a great 
many such things ; but, then, nobody ever 
thinks of doing them, — you know, Eva, nobody 
does." 

Eva did not speak ; her eyes were fixed and 
thoughtful, for a few moments. 

" Afcany rate," she said, "dear cousin, do 
love poor Dodo, and be kind to him, for my 
sake !" • 

" I could love anything, for your sake, dear 
cousin ; for I really think you are the loveliest 
creature that I ever saw !" And Henrique spoko 
with an earnestness that flushed his handsome 
face. Eva received it with perfect simplicity, 
without even a change of feature ; merely saying, 
" I 'm glad you feel so, dear Henrique ! I hope 
you will remember." 

The dinner-bell put an end to the interview. 



CHAPTER XXIV. 



FORESHA DO WINGS. 



Two days after this, Alfred St. Clare and 
Augustine parted ; and Eva, who had been stim- 
ulated, by the society of her young cousin, to 
exertions beyond her strength, began to fail rap- 
idly. St. Clare was at last willing to call in 
medical advice, — a thing from which he had 
always shrunk, because it was the admission of 
an unwelcome truth. ^ 

But, for a day or two, Eva was so unwell as to 
be confined to the house ; and the doctor was 
called. 

Marie St. Clare had taken no notice of the 
child's gradually decaying, health and strength, 
because she was completely absorbed in studying 
out two or three new forms of disease to which 
she believed she herself was a victim. It was the 
first principle of Marie's belief that nobody ever 
was or could be so great a sufferer as herself ; 
and, therefore, she always repelled quite indig- 
nantly any suggestion that any one around her 
could be sick. She was always sure, in such a 
case, that it was nothing but laziness, or want of 
energy ; and that, if they had had the suffering 
she had, they would soon know the difference. 

Miss Ophelia had several times tried to awaken 
her maternal fears about Eva ; but to no avail. 

" I don't see as anything ails the child," she 
would say ; " she runs about, and plays." 

" But she has a cough." 

" Cough ! you don't need to tell me about a 
cough. I've always been subject to a cough, all 
my days. When I was of Eva's age, they thought I 
was in a consumption. Night after night, Mammy 



104 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR, 



used to sit up with me. ! Eva's cough is not 
anything." 

" But she gets weak, and is short breathed." 

" Law ! I 've had that, years and years ; it 's 
only a nervous affection." 

" But she sweats so, nights !" 

" Well, I have, these ten years. Very often, 
night after night, my clothes will be wringing 
wet. There won't be a dry thread in my night- 
clothes, and the sheets will be so that Mammy has 
to hang them up to dry ! Eva does n't sweat any- 
thing like that!" 

Miss Ophelia shut her mouth for a season. But, 
now that Eva was fairly and visibly prostrated, 
and a doctor called, Marie, all on a sudden, took 
a new turn. 

" She knew it," she said; " she always felt it, 
that she was destined to be the most miserable of 
mothers. Here she was, with her wretched health, 
and her only darling child going down to the grave 
before her eyes ;" — and Marie routed up Mammy 
nights, and rumpussed and scolded, with more 
energy than ever, all day, on the strengths this 
new misery. 

" My dear Marie, don't talk so !" said St. Clare. 
" You ought not to give up the case so, at once." 

" You have not a mother's feelings, St. Clare ! 



could understand me 



— you 



don't 



You never 
now." 

" But don't talk so, as if it were a gone case !" 

" I can't take it as indifferently as you can, St. 
Clare. If you don't feel when your only child is 
in this alarming state, I do. It 's a blow too 
much for me, with all I was bearing before." 

" It 's true," said St. Clare, " that Eva is very 
delicate,- — that I always knew; and that she has 
grown so rapidly as to exhaust her strength ; and 
that her situation is critical. But just now she 
is only prostrated by the heat of the weather, and 
by the excitement of her cousin's visit, and the 
exertions she made. The physician says there is 
room for hope." 

" Well, of course, if you can look on the bright 
side, pray do ; it 's a mercy if people have n't sen- 
sitive feelings, in this world. I am sure I wish I 
didn't feel as I do; it only makes me completely 
wretched ! I wish I could be as easy as the rest 
of you ! " f 

And the " rest of them" had good reason to 
breathe the same prayer, for Marie paraded her 
new misery as the reason and apology for all sorts 
of inflictions on every one about her. Every 
word that was spoken by anybody, everything that 
Was done or was not done everywhere, was only a 
new proof that she was surrounded by hard- 
hearted, insensible beings, who were unmindful 
of her peculiar sorrows. Poor Eva heard some of 
these speeches ; and nearly cried her little eyes out, 
in pity for her mamma, and in sorrow that she 
should make her so much distress. 

In a week or two, there was a great improve- 
ment of symptoms, — one of those deceitful lulls, 
by'which her inexorable disease so often beguiles 
the anxious heart, even on the verge of the grave. 
Eva's step was again in the garden, — in the bal- 
conies ; she played and laughed again, — and her 
father, in a transport, declared that they should 
Boon have her as hearty as anybody. Miss Ophelia 
and the phyiljpian alone felt no encouragement 
from this illusive truce. There was one other 
heart, too, that felt the same certainty, and that 
was the little heart of Eva. What is it that some- 
times speaks in the soul so calmly, so clearly, that 



its earthly time is short? Is it the seeret instinct 
of decaying nature, or the soul's impulsive throb 
as immortality draws on? Be it what it may, it 
rested in the heart of Eva, a calm, sweet, prophetic 
certainty that Heaven was near ; calm as the light 
of sunset, sweet as the bright stillness of autumn, 
there her little heart reposed, only troubled by 
sorrow for those who loved her so dearly. 

For the child, though nursed so tenderly, and 
though life was unfolding before her with* every 
brightness that love and wealth could give, had no 
regret for herself in dying. 

In that hook which she and her simple old 
friend bad read so much together, she had seen 
and taken to her young heart the image of one 
who loved the little child ; and, as she gazed and 
mused, He had ceased to be an image and a pic- 
ture of the distant past, and come to be a living, 
all-surrounding reality. His love enfolded her 
childish heart with more than mortal tenderness ; 
and it was to Him, she said, she was going, and 
to his home. 

But her heart yearned with sad tenderness for 
all that she was to leave behind. Her father 
most, — for Eva, though she never distinctly 
thought so, had an instinctive perception that she 
was more in his heart than any other. She loved 
her mother because she was so loving a creature, 
and all the selfishness that she had seen in her 
only saddened and perplexed her ; for she had a 
child's implicit trust that her mother could not do 
wrong. There was something about her that Eva 
never could make out ; and she always smoothed 
it over with thinking that, after all, it was mamma, 
and she loved her very dearly indeed. 

She felt, too, for those fond, faithful servants, to 
whom she was as daylight and sunshine. Chil- 
dren do not usually generalize ; but Eva "was an 
uncommonly mature child, and the things that she 
had witnessed of the evils of the system under 
which they were living had fallen, one by one, 
into the depths of her thoughtful, pondering heart. 
She had vague longings to do something for them, 
— to bless and save not only them, but all in their 
condition, — longings that contrasted sadly with 
the feebleness of her little frame. 

" Uncle Tom," she said, one day, when she was 
reading to her friend, " I can understand why 
Jesus wanted to die for us." 

" Why, Miss Eva?" 

" Because I 've felt so, too." 

" What is it, Miss Eva ? — I don't understand." 
. " I can't tell you ; but, Avhen I saw those poor 
creatures on the boat, you know, when you came 
up and I, — some had lost their mothers, and 
some their husbands, and some mothers cried for 
their little children, — and when I heard about 
poor Prue, — 0, wasn't that dreadful! — and a 
great many other times, I 've felt that I would be 
glad to die, if my dying could stop all this misery. 
I would die for them, Tom, if I could," said the 
child, earnestly, laying her little thin hand on 
his. 

Tom looked at the child with awe ; and when 
she, hearing her father's voice, glided away, he 
wiped his eyes many times, as he looked after 
her. 

"It 's jest no use try in' to keep Miss Eva 
here," he said to Mammy, whom he met a mo- 
ment after. " She 's got the Lord's mark in her 
forehead." 

"Ah, yes, yes," said Mammy, raising her 
hands ; " I 've allers said so. She wasn't never 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



105 



Eke a child that 's to live — there was allers 
something deep in her eyes. I 've told Missis so, 
many the time : it 'a s comin' true, — we all sees 
it,— dear, little, hi >ssed Lamb !" 

Eva came tripping up the veranda steps to her 
father. It was late in the afternoon, and the 
rays of the sun formed a kind of glory behind her, 
as Bl came forward in her white dress, with her 
golden hair and glowing cheeks, her eves unnatu- 
rally bright with the slow fever that burned in 
her vei 

Bt. Clare had called her to show a statuette that 
he had be m buying for her; hut her appearance, 
she came on, impressed him suddenly and 
painfully. There is a kind of beauty bo intense, 
yet s > fragile, that we cannot hear to look at it. 
Ilcr father folded her suddenly in his arms, and 
almosl forgot what he was going to tell her. 

" Eva, dear, you are better now-a-days, — are 
you not ? 

" Papa ' said Eva, with sudden firmness, 
a I 've hao things 1 wanted to say to you, agreat 
•while. I want t > say them now, before I get 
weak 

St. Clare trembled as Eva seated herself in his 
lap. She laid her head <>u his bosom, and said, 

11 It *s all no use. papa, to keep it to myself 
any 1 >ng p. The time is coming that 1 am going 
to leave you. I am going, and never to come 
back !" and Eva sobbed. 

" 0, now, my dear little Eva«!" said St. (dare, 
trembling as he spoke, but speaking cheerfully, 
"you've got nervous and low-spirited ; you 
must n't indulge such gloomy thoughts. See here, 
I 've bought a statuette for you !"' 

"No, papa," said Eva, putting it gently away, 
u don't deceive yourself! — I am not any hotter, 
I know it perfectly well, — and I am going, he- 
fore long. [ am not nervous, — 'lam not low- 
spirited. If it were not for youj^papa, and my 
friends, I should he perfectly happy. I want to 
go, — I long to go !" 

11 Why, dear child, what has made your poor 
little heart so sad ? You have had everything, to 
make you happy, that could be given you." 

" I had rather be in heaven ; though, only for 
my friends' sake, I would be willing to live. 
There are a great many things here that make 
me sad, that seem dreadful to me ; I had rather 
be there ; but I don't want to leave you, — it 
almost breaks my heart !" 

" What makes you sad, and seems dreadful. 
Eva?" 

" 0, things that are done, and done all the 
time. I feel sad for our poor people ; they love 
me dearly, and they are all good and kind to me. 
I wish, papa, they were all/ree." 

" Why, Eva, child, don't you think they are" 
well enough off, now?" 

"0, but, papa, if anything should happen to 
you, what would become of them ? There are very 
Jfew men like you, papa. Uncle Alfred is n't like 
you, and mamma is n't ; and then, think of poor 
old Prue's owners ! What horrid things people 
do, and can do !" and Eva shuddered. 

" My dear child, you are too sensitive. I 'm 
sorry I ever let you hear such stories." 

"0, that's what troubles me, papa. You 
want me to live so happy, and never to have any 
pain, — never suffer anything, — not even hear 
a sad story, when other poor creatures have noth- 



ing but pain and -KOTOW, al their lives; — it 
seems selfish. I ought to know such things, I 
ought to feel about them ! Such things always 
sunk into my heart ; they went down deep ; I 'vo 
thought and thought about them. Papa, is n't 
there any way to have all slaves made free?" 

" That 's a difficult question, dearest. There 'a 
no doubt that this way is a very bad one ; a great 
many people think so ; I do myself. I heartily 
wish that there were not a slave in the land ; 
but, then, I don't know what is to be' done about 
it!" 

" Papa, you are such a good man, and so noble, 
and kind, and you always have a way of saying 
tilings that is so pleasant, couldn't you go all 
round and try to persuade people to do right about 
this 7 When 1 am dead, papa, then you will 
! think of me, and do it for my sake. I would do 
it, if I could." 

"When you are dead, Eva!" said St. Clare, 
passionately. " 0, child, don't talk to me so! 
You are all 1 have on earth." 

" Poor old Prue's child was all that she had, 

— and yet she had to hear it crying, and she 
could n't help it ! Papa, these poor creatures love 
their children as much as you do me. ! do 
something for them! There's poor Mammy 
loves her children ; I've seen her cry when she 
talked about them. And Tom loves his children; 
and it's dreadful, papa, that such things are 
happening all the time !" 

" There, there, darling," said St. Clare, sooth- 
ingly ; " only don't distress yourself, and don't 
talk of dying, and 1 will do anything you wish." 

" And pr >mise me, dear father, that Tom shall 
have his freedom as soon as " — she stopped, and 
said, in a hesitating tone — " I am gone !" 

" Yes. dear, I will do anything in the w r orld, 

— anything you could ask me to." 

" Dear papa," said the child, laying her burn- 
ing check against his, " how I Wish we could go 
together!" 

" Where, dearest?" said St. Clare. 

" To our Saviour's home ; it 's so sweet and 
peaceful there — it is all so loving there !" The 
child spoke unconsciously, as of a place where 
she had often been. " Don't you w r ant to go, 
papa?" she said. 

St. Clare drew her closer to him, but was silent. 

" You will come to me," said the child, speak- 
ing in a voice of calm certainty, which she often 
used unconsciously. 

" I shall come after you. I shall not forget 
you." 

The shadows of the solemn evening closed 
round them deeper and deeper, as St. Clare sat 
silently holding the little frail form to his bosom. 
He saw r no more the deep eyes, but the voice came 
over him as a spirit voice, and, as in a sort of 
judgment vision, his whole past life rose in a mo- 
ment before his eyes : his mother's prayers and 
hymns ; his own early yearnings and aspirings for 
good ; and, between them and this hour, years ot 
worldlincss and scepticism, and what man calls 
respectable living. We can think much, very 
much, in a moment. St. Clare saw and felt many 
things, but spoke nothing ; and, as it grew darker 
he took his child to her bedroom ; and, when she 
was prepared for rest, he sent away* the attend- 
ants, and rocked her in his arms, and sung to hej 
till she was asleep. 



106 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN I OR, 



CHAPTER XXV. 



THE LITTLE EVANGELIST. 



It was Sunday afternoon. St Clare was 
stretched on a bamboo lounge in the veranda, so- 
lacing himself with a cigar. Marie lay reclined 
on a sofa, opposite the window opening on the 
veranda, closely secluded, under an awning of 
transparent gauze, from the outrages of the mos- 
quitos, and languidly holding in her hand an ele- 
gantly bound prayer-book. She was holding it 
because it was Sunday, and she imagined she had 
been reading it, — though, in fact, she had been 
only taking a succession of short naps, with it 
open in her hand. 

Miss Ophelia, who, after some rummaging, 
had hunted up a small Methodist meeting within 
riding distance, had gone out, with Tom as 
driver, to attend it ; and Eva had accompanied 
them. 

" I say, Augustine," said Marie after dozing a 
while, " I must send to the city after my old 
Doctor Posey ; I 'm sure I 've got the complaint 
of the heart." 

"Well; why need you send for him? This 
doctor that attends Eva seems skilful." 

" I would not trust him in a critical case," said 
Marie ; " and I think I may say mine is becoming 
so ! I 've been thinking of it, these two or three 
nights past ; I have such distressing pains, and 
such strange feelings." 

"0, Marie, you are blue ; I don't believe it 's 
heart complaint." 

" I dare say you don't," said Marie ; " I was 
prepared to expect that. You can be alarmed 
enough, if Eva coughs, or has the least thing 
the matter with her ; but you never think of 
me." 

"If it 's particularly agreeable to you to have 
heart disease, why, I '11 try and maintain you 
have it," said St. Clare; "I didn't know it 
was." 

" Well, I only hope you won't be sorry for this, 
when it 's too late !" said Marie ; " but, believe 
it or not, my distress about Eva, and the exer- 
tions I have made with that dear child, have de- 
veloped what I have long suspected." 

What the exertions were which Marie referred 
to, it would have been difficult to state. St. Clare 
quietly made this commentary to himself, and 
went on smoking, like a hard-hearted wretch of a 
man as he was. till a carriage drove up before 
the veranda, and Eva and Miss Ophelia alighted. 

Miss Ophelia marched straight to her own 
chamber, to put away her bonnet and shawl, as 
was always her manner, before she spoke a word 
on any s.ubject ; while Eva came, at St. Clare's 
call, and was sitting on his knee, giving him an 
account of the services they had heard. 

They soon heard loud exclamations from Miss 
Ophelia's room, which, like the one in which they 
were sitting, opened on to the veranda, and vio- 
lent reproof addressed to somebody. 

"What new witchcraft has Tops been brew- 
ing?" asked St. Clare. " That commotion is of 
her raising, I '11 be bound !" 

And, in a moment after, Miss Ophelia, in high 
indignation, came dragging the culprit along. 

"Come o#t here, now!" she said. "I will 
tell your master !" 

' What 's the case now?" asked Augustine. 

" The case is, that I cannot be plagued with 
this jhild, any longer ! It 's past all bearing ; 



flesh and blood cannot endure it ! Here, I locked 
her up, and gave her a hymn to study ; and what 
does she do, but spy out where I put my key, and 
has gone to mv bureau, and got a bonnet- trin> 
ming, and cut it all to pieces, to make dolls' 
jackets ! I never saw anything like it, in my 
life!" 

" I told you, cousin," said Marie, " that you 'd 
find out that these creatures can't be brought up> 
without severity. If I had my way, now," she 
said, looking reproachfully at St. Clare, " I 'd 
send that child out, and have her thoroughly 
whipped ; I 'd have her whipped till she couldn't 
stand!" 

" I don't doubt it," said St. Clare. " Tell me 
of the lovely rule of woman ! I never saw above 
a dozen women that wouldn't half kill ahorse, 
or a servant, either, if they had their own way 
with them ! — let alone a man." 

" There is no use in this shilly-shally way of 
yours, St. Clare!" said Marie. "Cousin is a 
woman of sense, and she sees it now, as plain as 
I do." 

Miss Ophelia had just the capability of indig* 
nation that belongs to the thorough-paced house- 
keeper, and this had been pretty actively roused 
by the artifice and wastefulness of the child ; in 
fact, many of my lady readers must own that 
they should have felt just so in her circum- 
stances ; but Marie's words went beyond her, and 
she felt less heat. 

" I wouldn't have the child treated so, for tire 
world," she said ; " but, I am sure, Augustine, I 
don't know what to do. I 've taught and taught ; 
I 've talked till I 'm tired ; I 've whipped her, 
I 've punished her in every way I can think of, 
and still she 's just what she was at first." 

"Come here, Tops, you monkey!" said St. 
Clare, calling the child up to him. 

Topsy camo%p ; her round, hard eyes glitter- 
ing and blinking with a mixture of aj)prehensive* 
ness and their. usual odd drollery. 

" What makes you behave so ?" said St. Clare, 
who could not help being amused with the child's 
expression. 

" Spects it's my wicked heart," said Topsy^ 
demurely ; " Miss Feely says so." 

" Don't you see how much Miss Ophelia has 
done for you ? She says she has done everything 
she can think of." 

" Lor, yes, Mas'r ! old Missis used to say so, 
too. She whipped me a heap harder, and used 
to pull my har, and knock my head agin the door; 
but it didn't do me no good ! I spects, if they 's 
to pull every spear o' har out o' my head, it 
would n't do no good, neither, — I 's so wicked ! 
Laws ! I 's nothin but a nigger, no ways !" 

" Well, I shall have to give her up," said Miss 
Ophelia ; " I can't have that trouble any longer." 

" Well, I 'd just like to ask one question," said 
[•St. Clare. 

"What is it?" 

" Why, if your Gospel is not strong enough to 
save one heathen child, that you can have at 
home here, all to yourself, what 's the use of 
sending one or two poor missionaries off with it 
among thousands of just such ? I suppose this 
child is about a fair sample of what thousands of 
your heathen are." 

Miss Ophelia did not make an immediate ai> 
swer ; and Eva, who had stood a silent spectator 
of the scene thus far, made a silent sign to Topsy 
to follow her. There was a little glass-room at 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



107 



the corner of the veranda, which St. Clare used as 
as :■ of reading-room; and Eva. and Topsy dis- 
appeared into this place. 

"What's Eva going about, now?" said St. 
Qare. " I mean to see." 

An 1. advancing on tiptoe, he .lifted up a cur- 
tain that covered the glass-door, and looked in. 
In a moment, laying his finger on Ins lips, he 
made a Bilent gesture to Miss Ophelia to come 
and look. There sat the two children on the 
floor, ? ith their side faces towards them. Topsy, 
with her usual air of careless drollery and uncon- 
cern ; but, opposite to her, Eva, her whole face 
fervent with feeling, and tears in her.large eyes. 

•• What does make you so bad, Topsy ? Why 
won't you try and ho good ? Don't you love any- 
body , Topsy f" 

• Donno nothing 'bout love ; I 'loves candy and 
sich, that 's all," said Topsy. 

" But you love your father and mother?" 

11 Never had none, ye know. I tolled ye that, 
Miss Eva." 

"0, I know," said Eva, sadly ; '• but hadn't 
you any brother, or sister, or aunt, or — " 

'* No, none on ; em, — never had nothing nor 
nobody . ' ' 

" But, Topsy, if you 'd only try to be good, you 
might — " 

" Could n't never be nothin' but a nigger, if I 
was ever so good," said Topsy. " If 1 could be 
Skinned, and come white, I 'd try then." 

" But people can love you, if you are black, 
Topsy. Miss Ophelia would love you, if you were 
good." 

Topsy gave the short, blunt laugh that was her 
SOmmon mode of expressing incredulity. 

" Don't you think so I" said Eva. 

" No ; she can't bar me, 'caus^Jk'm a nigger ! 

— she 'd *s soon have a toad tou3[ ^ er • There 
can't nobody love niggers, and mggers can't do 
nothin' ! / don't care," said Topsy, beginning to 
whistle. 

" 0, Topsy, poor child, /love you !" said Eva, 
with a sudden burst of feeling, and laying her 
little thin, white hand on Topsy 's shoulder ; " I 
love you, because you have n't had any father, or 
mother, or friends; — because ji)u 've been a 
poor abused child ! I love you, and I want you 
to be good. I am very unwell, Topsy, and I 
think I shan't live a great while ; and it really 
grieves me, to have you be so naughty. I wish 
you would try to be good, for my sake ; — it 's 
only a little while I shall be with you." 

The round, keen eyes of the black child were 
overcast with tears ; — large, bright drops rolled 
heavily down, one by one, and fell on the little 
white hand. Yes, in that moment, a ray of real 
belief, a ray of heavenly love, had penetrated the 
darkness of her heathen soul ! She laid her head 
down between her knees, and wept and sobbed, 

— while the beautiful child, bending over her, 
looked like the picture of some bright angel 
stooping to reclaim a sinner. 

" Poor Topsy!" said Eva, " don't you know 
that Jesus loves all alike 1 He is just as willing 
to love you, as me. He loves you just as I do, — 
Only more, because he is better. He will help 
you to be good ; and you can go to heaven at 
last, and be an angel forever, just as much as if 
you were white, (inly think of it, Topsy ! — you 
can be one of those spirits bright, Uncle Tom 
sings about." 

"0, dear Miss Eva, dear Miss Eva !" said the 



child ; " I will try, I will try; I never did care 
nothin' about it before-" 

St. Clare, at this instant, dropped the curtain. 
" It puts me in mind of mother," he said to Miss 
Ophelia. " It is true what she tol4 me ; if we 
want to give sight to the blind, we must be will- 
ing to do as Christ did, — call them to us, and 
put our hands on them." 

" I 'vc always had a prejudice against negroes," 
said Miss Ophelia, " and it 's a fact, I never could 
bear to have that child touch me ; but I did n't- 
think she knew it." 

" Trust any child to find that out," said St. 
Clare ; " there's no keeping it from them. But 
I believe that all the trying in the world to 
benefit a child, and all the substantial favors you 
can do them, will never excite one emotion of 
gratitude, while that feeling of repugnance re- 
mains in the heart ; — it 's a queer kind of a fact, 
— but so it is." 

" I don't know how I can help it," said Miss 
Ophelia; "they are disagreeable to me, — this 
child in particular, — how can I help feeling 
so?" 

" Eva does, it seems." 

"Well, she's so loving! After all, though, 
she 's no more than Christ-like," said Miss 
Ophelia ; " I wish I were like her. She might 
teach me a lesson." 

"It would n't be the first time a little child 
had been used to instruct an old disciple, if it 
were so," said St. Clare. 



CHAPTER XXVI. 
t 

DEATU. 

Weep not for those whom the veil of the tomb, 
In life's early morning, hatli hid from our eyes. 

Eva's bed-room was a spacious apartment, 
which, like all the other rooms in the house, 
opened on to the broad veranda. The room com- 
municated, on one side, with *ier father and 
mother's apartment ; on the other, with that 
appropriated to Miss Ophelia. St. Clare had 
gratified his own eye and taste, in furnishing this 
room in a style that had a peculiar keeping with 
the character of her for whom it was intended. 
The windows were hung with curtains of rose- 
colored and white muslin ; the floor was spread 
with a matting which had been ordered in Paris, 
to a pattern of his own device, having round it a 
border of rose-buds and leaves, and a centre-piece 
with full-blown roses. The bedstead, chairs and 
lounges, were of bamboo, wrought in peculiarly 
graceful and fanciful patterns. Over the head 
of the bed was an alabaster bracket, on which a 
beautiful sculptured angel stood, with drooping 
wings, holding out a crown of myrtle-leaves. 
From this depended, over the bed, light curtains 
of rose-colored gauze, striped with silver, supply- 
ing that protection from mosquitos which is an 
indispensable addition to all sleeping accommo- 
dation in that climate. . The graceful bamboo 
lounges were amply supplied with cushions of 
' rose-colored damask, while over them, depending 
from the hands of sculptured figures, were gauze 
curtains similar to those of the bed. A light, 
fanciful bamboo table stood in the middle of the 
room, where a Parian vase, wrought in the shape 
of a white lily, with its buds, stood, ever filled 
vith flowers. On this table lay Eva's books and 



108 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN I OK. 



little trinkets, with an elegantly wrought ala- 
baster writing-stand, which her father had sup- 
plied to her when he saw her trying to improve 
herself in writing. There was a fireplace in the 
room, and on the marble mantel above stood a 
beautifully wrought statuette of Jesus receiving 
little children, and on either side marble vases, 
for which it was Tom's pride and delight' to offer 
bouquets every morning. Two or three exquisite 
paintings of children, in various attitudes embel- 
lished the wall. In short, the eye could turn 
nowhere without meeting images of childhood, of 
beauty, and of peace. Those little eyes never 
opened, in the morning light, without falling on 
something which suggested to the heart soothing 
and beautiful thoughts. 

The deceitful strength which had buoyed Eva 
up for a little while was fast passing away ; sel- 
dom and more seldom her light footstep was 
heard in the veranda, and oftener and oftener 
she was found reclined on a little lounge by the 
open window, her large, deep eyes fixed on the 
rising and falling waters of the lake. 

It was towards the middle of the afternoon, as 
she was so reclining, — her Bible half open, her 
little transparent fingers lying listlessly between 
the leaves, — suddenly she heard her mother's 
voice, in sharp tones, in the veranda. 

" What now, you baggage ! — what new piece 
of mischief ! You've been picking the flowers, 
hey?" and Eva heard the sound of a smart slap. 

" Law, Missis ! — they 's for Miss Eva," she 
heard a voice say, which she knew belonged to 
Topsy. 

" Miss Eva ! A pretty excuse ! — You suppose 
she wants your flowers, you good-for nothing nig- 
ger ! Get along off with you !" 

In a moment, Eva was off from her lounge, and 
in the veranda. 

"0, don't, mother ! I should like the flowers ; 
do give them to me ; I want them !" 

" Why, Eva, your room is full now." 

" I can't have too many," said Eva. " Topsy, 
do bring them here." 

Topsy, who had stood sullenly, holding down 
her head, now came up and offered her flowers. 
She did it with a look of hesitation and bashful- 
ness, quite unlike the eldrich boldness and bright- 
ness which was usual with her. 

" It 's a beautiful bouquet!" said Eva, looking 
at it. 

It was rather a singular one, — a brilliant scar- 
let geranium, and one single white japonica, with 
its glossy leaves. It was tied up with an evident 
eye to the contrast of color, and t v \e arrangement 
of every leaf had carefully been studied. 

Topsy looked pleased, as Eva said, — " Topsy, 
you arrange flowers very prettily. Here," she 
said, " is this vase I have n't any flowers for. I 
wish vou 'd arrange something every day for it." 

" Well, that 's odd !" said Marie. " What in 
the world do you want that for? " 

" Never mind, mamma ; you 'd as lief as not 
Topsy should do it, — had you not I" 

" Of course, anything you please, dear ! Top- 
sy, you hear your young mistress ; — see that 
you mind." 

Topsy made a short courtesy, and looked down ; 
and, as she turned away, Eva saw a tear roll 
down her dark cheek. 

" You see, mamma, I knew poor Topsy wanted 
to do something for me," said Eva to her mother. 

"0, nonsense! it 's only because she likes to 



do mischief. She knows she mustn't pick 
flowers, — so she does it ; that 's all there is 
to it. But, if you fancy to have her pluck them*, 
so be it." 

" Mamma, I think Topsy is different from what 
she used to be ; # she 's trying to be a good girl." 

"She'll have to try a good while before she. 
gets to be good!" said Marie, with a careless 
laugh. 

" Well, you know, mamma, poor Topsy ! every- 
thing has always been against her." 

" Not since she 's been here, I 'm sure. If shfc 
has n't been talked to, and preached to, and every 
earthly thing done that anybody could do ; — and 
she "s just so ugly, and always will be ; you can't 
make anything of the creature !" 

" But, mamma, it 's so different to be brought 
up as I 've been, with so many friends, so many 
things to make me good and happy ; and to be 
brought up as she 's been, all the time, till she 
came here ! ' ' 

" Most likely," said Marie, yawning, — " dear 
me, how hot it is !" 

" Mamma, you believe, don't you, that Topsy 
could become an angel, as well as any of us, if 
she were a Christian ?" 

"Topsy! what a ridiculous idea! Nobody 
but you would ever think of it. I suppose she 
could, though." 

" But, mamma, is n't God her Father, as much 
as ours? Is n't Jesus her Saviour?" 

" Well, that may be. I suppose God made 
everybody," said Marie. " Where is my smell* 
ing-bottle?" 

" It 's such a pity, — ! such a pity!" said 
Eva, looking out on the distant lake, and speak- 
ing half to herself. 

" What 's fc§ity ?" said Marie. 

"Why, that^ny one, who could be a bright 
angel, and live^ith angels, should go all down, 
down, down, and nobody help them ! — 0, dear !'' 

" Well, we oan't help it ; it 's no use worry> 
ing, Eva ! I don't know what 's to be done ; we 
ought to be thankful for our own advantages." 

" I hardly can be," said Eva, " I 'm so sorry 
to think of poor folks that have n't any !" 

"That's od# enough," said Marie; — "I 'm 
sure my religion makes me thankful for my ad- 
vantages." 

" Mamma," said Eva, " I want to have some 
of my hair cut off, — a good deal of it." 

"What for?" said Marie. 

" Mamma, I want to give some away to my 
friends, while I am able to give it to them my- 
self. Won't you ask aunty to come and cut it 
for me ? ' ' 

Marie raised her voice, and called Miss Ophelia, 
from the other room. 

The child half rose from her pillow as she 
came in, and, shaking down her long golden- 
brown curls, said, rather playfully, " Come, 
aunty, shear the sheep !" 

" What's that?" said St. Clare, who just then 
entered with some fruit he had been out to get 
for her. 

" Papa, I just want aunty to cut off some of 
my hair ; — there 's too much of it, and it makes 
my head hot. Besides, I want to give some of 
it away." 

Miss Ophelia came, with her scissors. 

"Take care, — don't spoil the looks of it!" 
said her father ; " cut underneath, where it won't 
show. Eva's curls are ir? pride " 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



100 



M O. papa said Eva, sadly. 
" Tea, and 1 want them kept handsome against 
the time 1 take you up to your ancle's planta- 
tion to see cousin Henrique," said St. Clare, in 
a gay tone. 

• I shall never go there, papa ; — lam going 
to a better country. 0, do believe me! Don't 
you see, papa, that T get weaker, every day?" 

•• Why do you insist that I shall believe such 
a cruel thing, Eva?" said her father. 

** Only because it is true, papa : and if you will 
believe it now, perhaps you will get to feel about 
it as I d .' 

St. Clare (dosed his lips, and stood gloomily 
eying the long, beautiful curls, which, as they 
were separated from the child's head, were laid, 
one by one, in her lap. She raised them up, 
looked earnestly at |hem, twined them round her 
thin lingers, and looked, from time to time, anx- 
iously at her father. 

" It 's just what [ Ye been foreboding !" said 
Mario; " it's just what has been preying on my 
health, from day to day, bringing me downward 
to the grave, though nobody regards it. I have 
seen this, long. St. Clare, you will see, after a 
while, that I was right. 1 ' 

" Which will affird you great consolation, no 
doubt!" said St. Clare, in a dry, bitter tone. 

Marie lay back on a lounge, and covered her 
face with her cambric handkerchief. 

Eva's clear blue eye looked earnestly from one 
to the other. It was the calm, comprehending 
gaze of a soul half loused from its earthly bonds ; 
it was evident she saw, felt and appreciated, the 
difference between the two. 

She beckoned with her hand to her father. He 
came, and sat down by her. 

" Papa, my strength fades away every day, and 
I know I must go. There are some things I want 
to say and do, — that I ought to do ; and you are 
so unwilling to have me speak a word on this sub- 
ject. But it must come ; there 's no putting it 
off. Do be willing I should speak now ! ' ' 

"My child, I am willing!" said St. Clare,) 
covering his eyes with one hand, and holding up 
Eva's hand with the other. 

" Then, I want to see all our people together. 
I have some things I must say to them," said 
Eva. 

" We//," said St. Clare, in a tone of dry endur- 
ance. 

Miss Ophelia despatched a messenger, and 
soon the whole of the servants were convened in 
the room. 

Eva lay back on her pillows ; her hair hanging 
loosely about her face, her crimson cheeks con- 
trasting painfully with the intense whiteness of 
her complexion and the thin contour of her limbs 
and features, and her large, soul-like eyes fixed 
earnestly on eyery one. 

The servants were struck Avith a sudden emo- 
tion. The spiritual face, the long locks of hair 
"ait off and lying by her, her father s averted face, 
and Marie's sobs, struck at once upon the feel- 
ings of a sensitive and impressible race ; and, as 
they came in, they looked one on another, sighed, 
and shook their heads. There was a deep silence, 
like that of a funeral. 

Eva raised herself, and looked long and ear- 
nestly round at every one. All looked sad and 
apprehensive. Many of the women hid their 
faces in their aprons. 

"I seat for you all, my daar friends," said 



Eva, " because 1 love you. I love 3'ou all ; and I 
have something to say to } r ou, which I want you 

always to remember I am going to 

Leave you. In a few more weeks, you will seo 
me no more — " 

Here the child was interrupted by bursts of 
groans, sobs and lamentations, which broke 
from all present, and in which her slender voice 
was lost entirely. She waited a moment, and 
then, speaking in- a tone that checked the sobs 
of all, she said, 

" If you love me, you must not interrupt me 
so. Listen to what I say. I want to speak to 

you about your souls Many of you, I 

am afraid, arc very careless. You are thinking 
only about this world. I want you to remember 
that there is a beautiful world, where Jesus is. 
1 am going there, and you can go there. It is 
for you, as much as me. But, if you want to go 
there, you must not live idle, careless, thought- 
less lives. You must be Christians. You must 
remember that each one of you can become 

angels, and be angels forever If you 

want to be Christians, Jesus will help you. You 
must pray to him ; you must read — " 

The child checked herself, looked piteously at 
them, and said, sorrowfully, 

" 0, dear ! you can't read, — poor souls !" and 
she hid her face in the pillow and sobbed, while 
many a smothered sob from those she was ad- 
dressing, who were kneeling on the floor, aroused 
her. 

" Never mind," she said, raising her face and 
smiling brightly through her tears, " I have 
prayed for you ; and I know Jesus will help you, 
even if you can't read. Try all to do the best 
you can ; pray every day ; ask Him to help you, 
and get the Bible read to you whenever you can ; 
and I think I shall see you all in heaven." 

" Amen," was the murmured response from 
the lips of Tom and Mammy, and some of the 
elder ones, who belonged to the Methodist church. 
The younger and more thoughtless ones, for the 
time completely overcome, were sobbing, with 
their heads bowed upon their knees. 

" I know," said Eva, " you all love me." 
"Yes; 0, yes! indeed we do! Lord bles3 
her !" was the involuntary answer of ail. 

" Yes, I know you do ! There is n't one of you 
that has n't always been very kind to me ; and I 
want to give you something that, when you look 
at, you shall always remember me. I 'm going 
to give all of you a curl of my hair ; and, when 
you look».at it, think that I loved you and am 
gone to rreaven, and that I want to see you all 
there." 

It is impossible to describe the scene, as, with 
tears and sobs, they gathered round the little 
creature, and took from her hands what seemed 
to them a last mark of her love. They fell on 
their knees ; they sobbed, and prayed, and kissed 
the hem of her garment ; and the elder ones 
poured forth words of endearment, mingled in 
prayers and blessings, after the manner of their 
susceptible race. 

As each one took their gift, Miss Ophelia, who 
was apprehensive for the effjet of all this excite- 
ment on her little patient, signed to each one to 
pass out of the apartment. 

At last, all were gone but Tom and Mammy. 
" Here, Uncle Tom," said Eva, " is a beauti- 
ful one for you. 0, I am so happy, Uncle Tom, 
to think I shall seo you in heaven, — for I'm 



110 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN .* OR, 



sure I shall; and Mammy, — dear, good, kind 
Mammy!" she said, fondly throwing her arms 
round ner old nurse, — "I know you '11 be there, 
too." 

"0, Miss Eva, don't see how I can live with- 
out ye, nohow!" said the faithful creature. 
" 'Pears like it 's just taking everything off the 
place to oncet !" and Mammy gave way to a pas- 
sion of grief. 

Miss Ophelia pushed her and Tom gently from 
the apartment, and thought they were all gone ; 
but, as she turned, Topsy was standing there. 

"Where did you start up from?" she said, 
suddenly. 

" I was here," sakl Topsy, wiping the tears 
from her eyes. "0, Miss Eva, I 've been a bad 
girl ; but won't you give me one, too ?" 

" Yes, poor Topsy ! to be sure, I will. There 
— every time you look at that, think that I loved 
you, and wanted you to be a good girl !" 

" 0, Miss Eva, I is tryin !" said Topsy, ear- 
nestly ; "but, Lor, it's so hard to be good! 
'Pears like I an't used to it, no ways !" 

" Jesus knows it, Topsy ; he is sorry for you ; 
he will help you." 

Topsy, with her eyes hid in her apron, was 
silently passed from the apartment by Miss 
Ophelia ; but, as she went, she hid the precious 
curl in her bosom. 

All being gone, Miss Ophelia shut the door. 
That worthy lady had wiped away many tears of 
her own, during the scene ; but concern for the 
consequence of such an excitement to her young 
charge was uppermost in her mind. 

St. Clare had been sitting, during the whole 
time, with his hand shading his eyes, in the 
same attitude. When they were all gone, he sat 
so still. 

" Papa !" said Eva, gently, laying her hand on 
his. 

He gave a sudden start and shiver ; but made 
no answer. 

" Dear papa !" said Eva. 

" I cannot,''' said St. Clare, rising, " I cannot 
have it so. The Almighty hath dealt very bitterly 
with me !" and St. Clare pronounced these words 
with a bitter emphasis, indeed. 

" Augustine ! has not God a right to do what 
he will with his own?" said Miss Ophelia. 

" Perhaps S3 ; but that does n't make it any 
easier to bear," said he, with a dry, hard, tear- 
less manner, as he turned away. 

" Papa, you break my heart !" said Eva, rising 
and throwing herself into his arms ; " w>u must 
not feel so!" and the child sobbed and wept 
with a violence which alarmed them all, and 
turned her father's thoughts at once to another 
channel. 

" There, Eva, — there, dearest ! Hush ! hush ! 
I was wrong ; I was wicked. I will feel any 
way, do any way, — only don't distress yourself; 
don't sob so. I will be resigned ; I was wicked 
to speak as I did." 

Eva soon lay like a wearied dove in her father's 
arms ; and he, bending over her, soothed her by 
every tender word he could think of. 

Marie rose and threw herself out of the apart- 
ment into her own, when she fell into violent 
hysterics. 

" You didn't give me a curl, Eva," said her 
father, smiling sadly. 

" They are all yours, papa," said she, smiling, 
— "yours and mamma's; and you must give 



dear aunty as many as she wants. I only gave 
them to our poor people myself, because you 
know, papa, they might be forgotten when I am 
gone, and because I hoped it might help them 

remember You are a Christian, are you 

not, papa ?" said Eva, doubtfully. 

" Why do you ask me?" 

" I don't know. You are so good, I don't see 
how you can help it." 

" What is being a Christian, Eva?" 

" Loving Christ most of all," said Eva. 

" Do you, Eva?" 

" Certainly I do." 

" You never saw him," said St. Clare. 

"That makes no difference," said Eva. "I 
believe him, and in a few days I shall see niin ;" 
and the young face grew fervent, radiant with joy. 

St. Clare said no more. It, was a feeling which 
he had seen before in his mother ; but no chord 
within vibrated to it. 

Eva, after this, declined rapidly ; there was no 
more any doubt of the event ; the fondest hope 
could not be blinded. Her beautiful room was 
avowedly a sick room ; and Miss Ophelia day and 
night performed the duties of a nurse, — and 
never did her friends appreciate her value more 
than in that capacity. With so well trained a 
hand and eye, such perfect adroitness and prac- 
tice in every art which could promote neatness 
and comfort, and keep out of sight every disagree- 
able incident of sickness, — with such a perfect 
sense of time, such a clear, untroubled head, such 
exact accuracy in remembering every prescription 
and direction of the doctors, — sfte was everything 
to him. They who had shrugged their shoulders 
at her little peculiarities and setnesses, so unlike 
the careless freedom of southern manners, ac- 
knowledged that now she was the exact person 
that was wanted. 

Uncle Tom was much in Eva's room. The 
child suffered much from nervous restlessness, and 
it was a relief to her to be carried ; and it was 
Tom's greatest delight to carry her little frail 
form in his arms, resting on a pillow, now up and 
down her room, now out into the veranda ; and 
when the fresh sea-breezes blew from the lake, — 
and the child felt freshest in the morning, — he 
would sometimes walk with her under the orange- 
trees in the garden, or, sitting down in some of 
their old seats, sing to her their favorite old 
hymns. 

Her father often did the same thing ; but his 
frame was slighter, and when he was weary, Eva 
would say to him, 

" 0, papa, let Tom take me. Poor fellow ! it 
pleases him ; and you know it 's all he can do 
now, and he wants to do something !" 

"-So do I, Eva !" said her father. 

" Well, papa, you can do everything, and are 
everything to me. You read to me, — you sit up 
nights, — and Tom has only this one thing, and 
his singing ; and I know, too, he does it easier 
than you can. He carries me so strong !" 

The desire to do something was not confined U 
Tom. Every servant in the establishment showed 
the same feeling, and in their, way did what thej 
could. 

Poor Mammy's heart yearned towards her dar- 
ling ; but she found no opportunity, night or day, 
as Marie declared that the state of her mind was 
such, it was impossible for her to rest ; and, of 
course, it was against her principles to let any 
one else rest. Twenty times in a night, Mammy 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



Ill 



would he P ; i- .1 to rub her foot, to bathe her 
head, to find her pocket-handkerchief, to Bee what 
Che noise waa in Eva's room, to let down a cur- 
tain becaose it was too light, or to put it op 
because it was too dark ; and, in the day-time, 
when Bhe longed to have Borne Bhare in the nurs- 
ing of her pet, Marie Beemed unusually ingenious 
in Keeping her busy anywhere and everywhere, all 
over the house, or about her own person ; so that 
stolon interviews and momentary glimpses were 
all Bhe could obtain. 

•• I feel it ray duty to be particularly careful of 
myself, now," she would say, " feeble as I am, 
and with the whole oare and nursing of that dear 
child upon me." 

" Indeed, my dear," said St. Clare, " I thought 
cair cousin relieved you of that." 

u You talk like a man, St. Clare, — just as if a 
mother could he relieved of the care or a child in 
that state : but, then, it 's all alike, — no one ever 
knows what 1 feel ! I can't throw things off, as 

j >u do." 

St. Clare smiled. You must excuse him, he 
could n't help it. — for St. Clare could smile yet. 
For so bright and placid was the farewell voyage 
of the littl ' spirit. — by such sweet and fragrant 
breezes was the small bark borne towards the 
heavenly shores. — that it was impossible to real- 
ize that it was death that was approaching. The 
child felt no pain, — only a tranquil, soft weak- 
ness, daily and almost insensibly increasing ; and 
she was so beautiful, so loving, so trustful, so 
happy, that one could not resist the soothing in- 
fluence of that air of innocence and peace which 
seemed to breathe around her. St. Clare found a 
strange calm coining over him. It was not hope, 
— that was impossible : it was not resignation ; it 
was only a calm resting in the present, which 
seemed so beautiful that he wished to think of no 
future. It was like that hush of spirit which we 
feel amid the bright, mild woods of autumn, when 
the bright hectic flush is on the trees, and the last 
lingering flowers by the brook ; and we joy in it 
all the more because we know that soon it will all 
pass away. 

The friend who knew most of Eva's own imagin- 
ings and foreshadowings was her faithful bearer, 
Tom. To him she said what she would not dis- 
turb her father by saying. To him she imparted 
those mysterious intimations which the soul feels, 
as the cords begin to unbind, ere it leaves its clay 
forever. 

Tom, at last, would not sleep in his room, but 
lay all night in the outer veranda, ready to rouse 
at every call. 

"Uncle Tom, what alive have you taken to 
sleeping anywhere and everywhere, like a dog, 
for?" said Miss Ophelia. "I thought you was 
one of 'the orderly sort, that liked to lie in bed in 
a Christian way." 

" I do, Miss Feely," said Tom, mysteriously. 
** I do ; but now — " 

"Well, what now?" 

" We mustn't speak loud ; Mas'rSt. Clare w<on't 
hoar on 't ; but, Miss Feely, you know there must 
be somebody watchin' for the bridegroom." 

" What do you mean, Tom"?" 

" You know it says in Scripture, ' At midnight 
there v/as a great cry made. Behold, the bride- 
groom cometh.' That 's what I 'm spectin' now, 
every night, Miss Feely, — and I couldn't sleep 
out o' hearin' no ways." 

" Why, Uncle Tom, what makes you think so ?" 



"Miss Eva, she talks to me. The Lord, he 
sends his messenger in the soul. I must be thar, 
Miss Feely ; for when that ar blessed child goes 
into the kingdom, they'll open the door so wide, 
we "11 all get a look in at the glory. Miss Feely." 

"Uncle Tom, did Miss Eva say she felt more 
unwell than usual to-niffhtt" 

"No; but she tolled me, this morning, she 
was coming nearer, — thar 's them that tells it to 
the child, Miss Feely. It's the angels, — 'it 'fa 
the trumpet sound afore the break o' day,' " saia 
Tom, quoting from ;i favorite hymn. 

This dialogue passed between Miss Ophelia and 
Tom, between ten and eleven, one evening, after 
her arrangements had all been made for the 
night, when, on going to bolt her outer door, she 
Pound Tom stretched along by it, in the outer 
veranda. 

She was not nervous or impressible ; but the 
s >lemn, heart-felt manner struck her, Eva had 
been unusually bright and cheerful, that after- 
noon, and had sat raised in her bed. and looked 
over all her little trinkets and precious things, 
and designated the friends to whom she would 
have them given ; and her manner was more ani- 
mated, and her voice more natural, than they had 
known it for weeks. Her father had been in, in 
the evening, and had said that Eva appeared more 
like her former self than ever she had done since 
her sickness ; and when he kissed her for tho 
night, he said to Miss Ophelia, — "Cousin, wo 
may keep her with us, after all ; she is certainly 
better ;" and he had retired with a lighter heart 
in his bosom than he had had there for weeks. 

But at midnight, — strange, mystic hour! — 
when the veil between the frail present and the 
eternal future grows thin, — then came the mes- 
senger ! 

There was a sound in that chamber, first of one 
who stepped quickly. It was Miss Ophelia, who 
had resolved to sit up all night with her little 
charge, and who, at the turn of the night, had 
discerned what experienced nurses significantly 
call " a change." The outer door was quickly 
opened, and Tom, who was watching outside, 
was on the alert, in a moment. 

" Go for the doctor, Tom ! lose not a moment," 
said Miss Ophelia ; and, stepping across the 
room, she rapped at St. Clare's door. 

" Cousin," she said, " I wish you would come." 

Those words fell on his heart like clods upon a 
coffin. Why did they? He was up and in the 
room in an instant, and bending over Eva, who 
still slept. 

What was it he saw that made his heart stand 
still ? Why was no word spoken between the 
two? Thou canst say, w r ho hast seen that same 
expression on the face dearest to thee ; — that 
look indescribable, hopeless, unmistakable, that 
says to thee that thy beloved is no longer thine. 

On the face of the child, however, there was 
no ghastly imprint, — only a high and almost 
sublime expression, — the overshadowing pres- 
ence of spiritual natures, the dawning of im- 
mortal life in that childish soul. 

They stood there so still, gazing upon her, that 
even the ticking of the watch seemed too loud. 
In a few moments, Tom returned, with the doc- 
tor. He entered, gave one look, and stood silent 
as the rest. 

" When did this change take place ?" said he, 
in a low whisper, to Miss Ophelia. 
' " About the turn of the night," was the reply. 



112 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN I OR. 



Marie, roused by the entance of the doctor, 
appeared, hurriedly, from the next room. 

' ' Augustine ! Cousin ! — ! — what !" she hur- 
riedly began. 

"Hush !" said St. Clare, hoarsely; " she is dy- 
ing ! ' ' 

Mammy heard the words, and flew to awaken 
the servants. The house was soon roused, — 
lights were seen, footsteps heard, anxious faces 
thronged the veranda, and looked tearfully 
through the glass-doors ; but St. Clare heard and 
said nothing, — he saw only that look on the face 
of the little sleeper. 

" 0, if she would only wake, and speak once 
more !" he said ; and stooping over her, he spoke 
in her ear, — " Eva, darling ! " 

The large blue eyes unclosed, — a smile passed 
over her face ; — she tried to raise her head, and 
to speak. 

" Do you know me, Eva?" 

" Dear papa," said the child, with a last 
effart, throwing her arms about his neck. In a 
moment they dropped again ; and, as St. Clare 
raised his head, he saw a spasm of mortal agony 
pass over the face, — she struggled for breath, 
and threw up her little hands. 

"0, God, this is dreadful !" ho said, turning 
away in agony, and wringing Tom's hand, scarce 
conscious what he was doing. "0, Tom, my 
boy, it is killing me!" 

lorn had his master's hands between his own ; 
and, with tears streaming down his dark cheeks, 
looked up for help where he had always been 
used to look. 

"Pray that this maybe cut short!" said St. 
Clare, — " this wrings my heart." 

"0, bless the Lord! it's over, — it's over, 
dear Master !" said Tom ; " look at her." 

The child lay panting on her pillows, as one 
exhausted, — the large clear eyes rolled up and 
fixed. Ah, what said those eyes, that spoke so 
much of heaven ? Earth was past, and earthly 
pain ; but so solemn, so mysterious, was the 
triumphant brightness of that face, that it checked 
even the sobs of sorrow. They pressed around 
her, in breathless stillness. 

" Eva," said St. Clare, gently. 

She did not hear. 

"0, Eva, tell us what you see ! What is it?" 
said her father. 

A bright, a glorious smile passed over her face, 
and she said, brokenly, — "0! love, — joy, — 
peace!" gave one sigh, and passed from death 
unto life ! 

" Farewell, beloved child! the bright, eternal 
doors have closed after thee ; we shall see thy 
sweet face no more. 0, woe for them who 
watched thy entrance into heaven, when they 
shall wake and find only the cold, gray sky of 
daily life, and thou gone forever !" 



CHAPTER XXVH. 

1 ' THIS IS THE LAST OF EARTII. ' ' John Q. Adams. 

The statuettes and pictures in Eva's room were 
shrouded in white napkins, and only hushed 
breathings and muffled foot-falls were heard there, 
and the light stole in solemnly through windows 
partially darkened by closed blinds. 

The bed was draped in white; and there, 
eath the drooping angel-figure, lay a little 
sleeping form, — slosping, never to waken ! 



There she lay, robed in one of the simple white 
dresses she had been wont to wear when living ; 
the rose-colored light through the curtains cast 
over the icy coldness of death a warm glow. The 
heavy eyelashes drooped softly on the pure cheek ; 
the head was turned a little to one side, as if in 
natural sleep, but there was diffused over every 
lineament of the face that high celestial expres- 
sion, that mingling of rapture and repose, which 
showed it was no earthly or temporary sleep, but 
the long, sacred rest which "He giveth to his 
beloved." 

There is no death to such as thou, dear Eva! 
neither darkness nor shadow of death ; only such 
a bright fading as when the morning star fades 
in the golden dawn. Thine is the victory with- 
out the battle, — the crown without the conflict. 

So did St. Clare think, as, with folded arms, 
he stood there gazing. Ah ! who shall say what 
he did think? for, from the hour tha.t voices had 
said, in the dying chamber, " she is gone," it had 
been all a dreary mist, a heavy " dimness of 
anguish." He hatl heard voices around him; he 
had had questions asked, and answered them ; 
they had asked him when he would have the 
funeral, and where they should lay her ; and he 
had answered, impatiently, that he cared not. 

Adolph and Rosa had arranged the chamber ; 
volatile, fickle and childish, as they generally 
were, they were soft-hearted and full of feeling ; 
and, while Miss Ophelia presided over the general 
details of order and neatness, it was their hands 
that added those soft, poetic touches to the ar- 
rangements, that %>ok from the death-room the 
grim and ghastly air which too often marks a New 
England funeral. 

Tnere were still flowers on the shelves, — all 
white, delicate and fragrant, with graceful, droop- 
ing leaves. Eva's little table, covered with white, 
bore on it her favorite vase, with a single white 
moss rose-bud in it. The folds of the drapery, the 
fall of the curtains, had been arranged and rear- 
ranged, by Adolph and Rosa, with that nicety of 
eye which characterizes their race. Even now, 
while St. Clare stood there thinking, little Rosa 
tripped softly into the chamber with a basket of 
white flowers. She stepped back when she saw 
St. Clare, and stopped respectfully ; but seeing 
that ho did not observe her, she came forward. to 
place them around the dead. St. Clare saw her as 
in a dream, while she placed in the small hands a 
fair cape jessamine, and, with admirable taste, 
disposed other flowers around the couch. 

The door opened again, and Topsy, her eyes 
swelled with crying, appeared, holding something 
under her apron. Rosa made a quick, forbidding 
gesture ; but she took a step into the room. 

" You must go out," said Rosa, in a sharp, posi- 
tive whisper ; " you have n't any business here !" 

" 0, do let me ! I brought a flower, — such a 
pretty one !" said Topsy; holding up a half-blown 
tea rose-bud. " Do let me put just one there !" 

" Get along !" said Rosa, more decidedly. 

"Let her stay!" said St. Clare, suddenly 
stamping his foot. " She shall come." 

Rosa suddenly retreated, and Topsy came for- 
ward and laid her offering at the feet of the 
corpse ; then suddenly, with a wild and bitter cry, 
she threw herself on the floor alongside the bed, 
and wept, and moaned aloud. 

Miss Ophelia hastened into the room, and tried 
to raise and silence her ; but in vain. 

"0, Miss Eva ! 0, Miss Eva ! I wish I 's dead, 
too, — I do!" 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



113 



There was a piercing wildness in the cry ; the 
I into sr. Clare's white, marble-like 
. and the Bret tears he had shod sinYe Eva died 
in his '■ 

" Get up, child," said Miss Ophelia, in a Boft- 
ened voice : " d »n't cry so. Miss Eva is gone to 
heaven ; she is an angel." 

"But I can't Bee her!" said Topsy. " I never 
shall Bee her!" and she sobbed again. 

They all st K)d a moment in silence. 

" Snesaid she loved me," said Topsy, — "she 
did! 0, dear ! 0, dear! there an't nobody left 
now. — there an't !" 

"That's true enough," said St. Clare; "but 
do," he said to Miss Ophelia, " sec if you can't 
comfort the poor creature." 

•« I jist wish T hadn't never been born," said 
Topsy. " I did n't want to be born, no ways ; and 
I don't see no use on't." 

Miss Ophelia raised her gently, but firmly, and 
took her from the room ; but, as she did so, some 
tears fell from her eyes. 

" Topsy, you poor child," she said, as she led 
her into her room, " don't give up ! 7 can love 
you. though I am not like that dear little child. 
I hope 1 've learnt something of the love of Christ 
from her. I can love you ; T do, and I '11 try to 
help you to grow up a good Christian girl.*' 

Miss Ophelia's voice was more than her words, 
and more than that were the honest tears that fell 
down her face. From that hour, she acquired an 
influence over the mind of the destitute child that 
she never lost. 

" 0, my Eva, whose little hour on earth did so 
much of good," thought St. Clare, " what account 
have I to give for my long years ?" 

There were, for a while, soft whisperings and 
foot-falls in the chamber, as one after another stole 
in, to look at the dead ; and then came the little 
coffin ; and then there was a funeral, and carriages 
drove to the door, and strangers came and were 
seated ; and there were white scarfs and ribbons, 
and crape bands, and mourners dressed in black 
crape, and there were words read from the Bible, 
and prayers offered ; and St. Clare lived, and 
walked, and moved, as one who has shed every 
tear ; — to the last he saw only one thing, that 
golden head in the coffin ; but then he saw the 
cloth spread over it, the lid of the coffin closed ; 
and he walked, when he was put beside the others, 
down to a little place at the bottom of the garden, 
and there, by the mossy seat where she and Tom 
had talked, and sung, and read so often, was the 
little grave. St. Clare stood beside it, — looked 
vacantly down ; he saw them lower the little cof- 
fin ; he heard, dimly, the solemn words, " I am 
the resurrection and the Life ; he that belie veth 
in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live ;" 
and, -as the earth was cast in and filled up the little 
grave, lie could not realize that it was his Eva that 
they were hiding from his sight. 

Nor was it ! — not Eva, but only the frail seed 
of that bright, immortal form with which she shall 
yet come forth, in the day of the Lord Jesus ! 

And then all were gone, and the mourners went 
back to the place which should know her no more ; 
and Marie's room was darkened, and she lay on 
the bed, sobbing and moaning in uncontrollable 
grief, and calling every moment for the attentions 
of all her servants. Of course, they had no time 
to cry, — why should they ? the grief was her grief, 
and she was fully convinced that nobody on earth 
did, could, or would feel it as she did. 

8 



" St. Clare did not shed a tear," she said ; " ho 
did n't sympathize with her ; it was perfectly 
wonderful to think how hard-hearted and unfeel- 
ing he was, when he must know how she suf- 
fered." 

So much are people the slave of their eye and 
ear, that many of the servants really thought that 
Missis was the principal sufferer in the case, 
especially as Marie began to have hysterical 
spasms, and sent fir the doctor, and at last de- 
clared herself dying ; and, in the running and 
scampering, and bringing up hot bottles, and 
heating of flannels, and chafing, and fussing, that 
ensued, there was quite a diversion. 

Tom, however, had a feeling at his own heart, 
that drew him to his master. He followed him 
wherever he walked, wistfully and sadly ; and 
when he saw him sitting, so pale and quiet, in 
Eva's room, holding before his eyes her little open 
Bible, though seeing no letter or word of what 
was in it, there was more sorrow to Tom in that 
still, fixed, tearless eye, than in all Marie's moans 
and lamentations. 

In a few days the St. Clare family were back 
again in the city ; Augustine, with the restless- 
ness of grief, longing for another scene, to change 
the current of his thoughts. So they left the 
house and garden, with its little grave, and came 
back to New Orleans ; and St. Clare walked the 
streets busily, and strove to fill up the chasm in 
his heart with hurry and bustle, and change of 
place ; and people who saw him in the street, or 
met him at the cafe, knew of his loss only by the 
weed on his hat ; for there he was, smiling and 
talking, and reading the newspaper, and specu- 
lating on politics, and attending to business mat- 
ters ; and who could see that all this smiling out- 
side* was but a hollow shell over a heart that was 
a dark and silent sepulchre 1 

" Mr. St. Clare is a singular man," said Marie 
to Miss Ophelia, in a complaining tone. " I 
used to think, if there was anything in the world 
he did love, it was ow dear little Eva ; but he 
seems to be forgetting her very easily. I cannot 
ever get him to talk about her. I really did 
think he would show more feeling !" 

"Still waters run deepest, they used to tell 
me," said Miss Ophelia, oracularly. 

" 0, I don't believe in such things; it's all 
talk. If people have feeling, they will show it, 
— they can't help it ; but, thea, it 's a great mis- 
fortune to have feeling. I 'd rather have been 
made like St. Clare. My feelings prey upon me 
so!" 

"Sure, Missis, Mas'r St. Clure is gettin' thin 
as a shader. They say he don't never eat 
nothin'," said Mammy. " I know he don't for- 
get Miss Eva ; I know there could n't nobody, — 
dear, little, blessed cretur!" she added, wiping 
her eyes. 

" Well, at all events, he has no consideration 
for me," said Marie; "he hasn't spoken one 
word of sympathy, and he must know how much 
more a mother feels than any man can." 

" The heart knoweth its own bitterness," said 
Miss Ophelia, gravely. 

" That 's just wdiat I think. I know just whet 
I feel, — nobody else seems to. Eva used to, but 
she 's gone !" and Marie lay back on her lounge, 
and began to sob disconsolately. 

Marie was one of those unfortunately consti- 
tuted mortals, in whose eyes whatever is lost and 
gone assumes a value which it never had in pes- 



114 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : Oil, 



session. Whatever she hud, she seemed to sur- 
vey only to pick flaws in it ; but once fairly away, 
there was no end to her valuation of it. 

While this conversation was talcing place in 
the parlor, another was going on in St. Clare's 
library. 

Tom, who was always uneasily following his 
master about, had seen him go to his library, 
some hours before ; and, after vainly waiting for 
him to come out, determined, at last, to make an 
errand in. He entered softly. St. Clare lay on 
his lounge, at the further end of the room. He 
was lying on his face, with Eva's Bible open be- 
fore him, at a little distance.. Tom walked up, 
and stood by the sofa. He hesitated ; and, while 
lie was hesitating, St. Clare suddenly raised 
himself up. The honest face, so full of grief, and 
with such an imploring expression of affection 
and sympathy, struck his master. He laid his 
hand on Tom's, and bowed down his forehead on 
it. 

"0, Tom, my boy, the whole world is as empty 
as an egg-shell ! ' ' 

" I know it, Mas'r, — I know it," said Tom ; 
61 but, 0, if Mas'r could only look up, — up where 
our dear Miss Eva is, — up to the dear Lord 
Jesus !" 

" Ah, Tom ! I do look up ; but the trouble is, 
I don't see anything, when I do. I wish I could." 
Tom sighed heavily. 

" It seems to be given to children, and poor, 
honest fellows, like you, to see what we can't," 
said St. Clare. " How comes it?" 

" Thou hast ' hid from the wise and prudent, 
and revealed unto babes,' " murmured Tom ; 
" ' even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy 
sight.' " 

" Tom, I don't believe, — I can't believe, — 
I've got the habit of doubting," said St. Clare. 
" I want to believe this Bible, — and I can"t." 

" Dear Mas'r, pray to the good Lord, — ' Lord, 
I believe, help thou my unbelief.' " 

" Who knows anything about anything?" said 
St. Clare, his eyes wandering dreamily, and 
speaking to himself. "Was all that beautiful 
love and faith only one of the ever-shifting phases 
of human feeling, having nothing real to rest on, 
passing away with the little breath ? And is 
there nc more Eva, — no heaven, — no Christ, — 
nothing ?" 

"0, dear Mas'r, there is! I know it; I'm 
sure of it," said Tom, falling on his knees. "Do 
do, dear Mas'r, believe it !" 

" How do you know there 'a any Christ, Tom ? 
You never saw the Lord." 

" Felt Him in my soul, Mas'r, — feel Him now ! 
0, Mas'r, when I was sold away from my old 
woman and the children, I was jest a'most broke 
up. I felt as if there war n't nothin' left ; and 
then the good Lord, he stood by me, and he says, 
1 Fear not, Tom ;' and he brings light and joy into 
a poor feller's soul, — makes all peace ; and I 's 
so happy, and loves everybody, and feels willin' 
jest to be the Lord's, and have the Lord's will 
done, and be put jest where the Lord wants 
to put me. I know it could n't come from me, 
cause I 's a poor complainin' cretur ; it comes 
from the Lord ; and I know He 's willin' to do for 
Mas'r." 

Tom spoke with fast-running tears and chok- 
ing; voice. St. Clare leaned his head on his 
shoulder, and wrung the hard, faithful, black 
hand. 



" Tom, you love me," he said. 

" I 's willin' to lay down my life, this blessed 
day, to see Mas'r a Christian." 

" Poor, foolish boy !" said St. Clare Lalf rais 
ing himself. "I'm not worth the k : e of ono 
good, honest heart, like yours." 

" 0, Mas'r, dere 's more than me loves you, — 
the blessed Lord Jesus loves you." 

"How do you know that, Tom?" said St. 
Clare . 

" Feels it in my, soul. 0, Mas'r ! ' the love of 
Christ, that passeth knowledge.' " 

"Singular!" said St. Clare, turning away, 
" that the story of a man that lived and died 
eighteen hundred years ago can affect people so 
yet. But he was no man," he added, suddenly. 
" No man ever had such long and living power ! 
0, that I could believe what my mother taught 
me, and pray as I did when I was a boy !" 

"If Mas'r pleases," said Tom, "Miss Eva 
used to read this so beautifully. I wish Mas'r M 
be so good as read it. Don't get no readin', 
hardly, now Miss Eva 's gone." 

The chapter was the eleventh of John, — the 
touching account of the raising of Lazarus. St. 
Clare read it aloud, often pausing to wrestle down 
feelings which were roused by the pathos of the 
story. Tom knelt before him, with clasped hands, 
and with an absorbed expression of love, trust, 
adoration, on his quiet face. 

"Tom," said his master, "this is all real to 
you!" 

" I can jest fairly see it, Mas'r," said Tom. 

" I wish I had your eyes, Tom." 

" I wish, to the dear Lord, Mas'r had !" 

" But, Tom, you know that I have a great deal 
more knowledge than you ; what if I should tell 
you that I don't believe this Bible?" 

"0, Mas'r !" said Tom, holding up his hands 
with a deprecating gesture. 

" Wouldn't it shake your faith some, Tom?" 

" Not a grain," said Tom. 

" Why, Tom, you must know I know the 
most." 

"0, Mas'r, haven't you jest read how he hides 
from the wise and prudent, and reveals unto 
babes? But Mas'r wasn't in earnest, for sartin, 
now?" said Tom, anxiously. 

" No, Tom, I was not. I don't disbelieve, and 
I think there is reason to believe ; and still I 
don't. It 's a troublesome, bad habit I 've got, 
Tom." 

" If Mas'r would only pray !" 

" How do you know I don't , Tom?" 

"Does Mas'r?" 

"I would, Tom, if there was anybody there 
when I pray ; but it 's all speaking unto nothing, 
when I do. But come, Tom, you pray, now, and 
show me how." 

Tom's heart was full ; he poured it out in 
prayer, like waters that have been long sup- 
pressed. One thing was plain enough ; Tom 
thought there was somebody to hear, whether 
there were or not. In fact, St. Clare felt him- 
self borne, on the tide of his faith and feeling, 
almost to the gates of that heaven he seemed so 
vividly to conceive. It seemed to bring him 
nearer to Eva. 

"Thank you, my boy," said St. Clare, when 
Tom rose. "I like to hear you, Tom; but go, 
now, and leave me alone ; some other time, I '11 
talk more." 

Tom silently left tho room. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



115 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 



REUNION. 



WEEK after week glided away in the St. Clare 

mansion, and the waves of life settled back to 
their usual flow, where that little hark had gone 
down. For how imperiously, how coolly, in dis- 
regard of all one's feeling, does the hard, cold, 
uninteresting course of daily realities move on! 
Still must we eat, and drink, and sleep, and wake 
again, — still bargain, bivy, sell, ask and answer 
questi ms, — pursue, in short, a thousand shad- 
ows, though all interest in them be over; the 
cold, mechanical habit of living remaining, after 
all vital interest in it has fled. 

All the interests and hopes of St. Clare's life 
had unconsciously wound themselves around this 
child. It was for Eva that he had managed his 
property ; it was for Eva that he had planned the 
disposal of his time ; and, to do this and that for 
Eva, — to bay, improve, alter, and arrange, or 
dispose something for her, — had been so long 
his habit, that, now she was gone, there seemed 
nothing to»be thought of, and nothing to be done. 

True, there was another life, — a life winch, 
once believed in, stands as a solemn, significant 
figure before the otherwise unmeaning ciphers of 
time, changing them to orders of mysterious, 
untold value. St. Clare knew this well ; and 
often, in many a weary hour, he heard that slen- 
der, childish voice, calling him to the skies, and 
saw that little hand pointing to him the way of 
life ; but a heavy lethargy of sorrow lay on him, 
— he could not arise. He had one of those 
natures which could better and more clearly con- 
ceive of religious things from its own perceptions 
and instincts, than many a matter-of-fact and 
practical Christian. The gift to appreciate and 
the sense to feel the finer shades and relations of 
moral things often seems an attribute of those 
whose whole life shows a careless disregard of 
them. Hence Moore, Byron, Goethe, often speak 
words more wisely descriptive of the true religious 
sentiment, than another man, whose whole life is 
governed by it. In such minds, disregard of 
religion is a more fearful treason, — a more 
deadly sin. 

St. Clare had never pretended to govern him- 
self by any religious obligation ; and a certain 
fineness of nature gave him such an instinctive 
view of the extent of the requirements of Christi- 
anity, that he shrank, by anticipation, from what 
he felt would be the exactions of his own con- 
science, if he once did resolve to assume them. 
For, so inconsistent is human nature, especially 
in the ideal, that not to undertake a thing at all 
seems better than to undertake and come short. 

Still, St. Clare was, in many respects, another 
man. He read his little Eva's Bible seriously 
and honestly ; he thought more soberly and practi- 
cally of his relations to his servants, — enough to 
make him extremely dissatisfied with both his 
past and present course ; and one thing he did, 
soon after his return to New Orleans, and that 
was to commence the legal steps necessary to 
Tom's emancipation, which was to be perfected 
as soon as he could get through the necessary 
formalities. Meantime, he attached himself to 
Tom more and more, every day. In all the wide 
world, there was nothing that seemed to remind 
him so much of Eva ; and he would insist on 
keeping him constantly about him, and, fastidious 
and unapproachable as he was with regard to his 



deeper feelings, he almost thought aloud to Tom* 
Nor would any one have wondered at it, who had 
seen the expression of affection and devotion with 
which Tom continually followed his young master. 

" Well, Tom,"' said St. Clare, the day after he 
had commenced the legal formalities for his en- 
franchisement, "I'm going to make a freeman 
of you ; — so, have your trunk packed, and get 
ready to set out for Kentuck." 

The sudden light of joy that shone in Tom's 
face as he raised his hands to heaven, his en> 
phatic " Bless the Lord !" rather discomposed St 
Clare. lie did not like it that Tom should be so 
ready to leave him. 

" You haven't had such very bad times here, 
that you need be in such a rapture, Tom," he 
said, dryly. 

"No, no, Mas'r! 'tan't that, — it's bein' a 
free man ! That 's what I 'm joy in' for." 

" Why, Tom, don't you think, for your own 
part, you 've been better off than to be free?" 

"No, indeed, Mas'r St. Clare," said Tom, with 
a flash of energy. " No, indeed !" 

" Why, Tom, you could n't possibly have earned^ 
by your work, such clothes and such living as I 
have given you." 

"Knows all that, Mas'r St. Clare; Mas'r 's 
been too gook, but, Mas'r, I 'd rather have poor 
clothes, poor house, poor everything, and have 
'em mine, than have the best, and have 'em any 
man's else, — I had so, Mas'r ; I think it 's natur, 
Mas'r." 

" I suppose so, Tom, and you '11 be going off 
and leaving me, in a month or so," he added, rath* 
er discontentedly. " Though why you should n% 
no mortal knows," he said, in a gayer tone ; and, 
getting up, he began to walk the floor. 

" Not while Mas'r is in trouble," said Tom, 
"I '11 stay with Mas'r as long as he wants me, — 
so as I can be any use." 

"Not while I'm in trouble, Tom ?" said Sfe. 
Clare, looking sadly out of the window. . . 
" And when will my trouble be over?" 

" When Mas'r St. Clare 's a Christian," said 
Tom. 

" And you really mean to stay by till that clay 
comes?" said St. Clare, half smiling, as he 
turned from the window, and laid his hand on 
Tom's shoulder. " Ah, Tom, you soft, silly boy! 
I won't keep you till that day. Go home to your 
wife and children, and give my love to all." 

" I 's faith to believe that day will come," said 
Tom, earnestly, and with tears in his eyes; " the 
Lord has a work for Mas'r." 

" A work, hey?" said St. Clare ; " well, now, 
Tom, give me your views on what sort of a work 
it is ; — let 's hear." 

' ' Why, even a poor fellow like me has a work 
from the Lord ; and Mas'r St. Clare, that has 
larnin, and riches, and friends, — how much he 
might do for the Lord !" 

" Tom, you seem to think the Lord needs a 
great deal clone for him," said St. Clare, smiling. 

" We does for the Lord when we does for his 
critturs," said Tom. 

" Good theology, Tom ; better than Dr. B. 
preaches, I dare swear," said St. Clare. 

The conversation was here interrupted by the 
announcement of some visitors. 

Marie St. Clare felt the loss of Eva as deeply 
as she could feel anything ; and, as she was a 
woman that had a great faculty of making every* 
body unhappy when she was, bar immediate at- 



116 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR, 



tendants had still stronger reason to regret the 
loss of their young mistress, whose winning ways 
and gentle intercessions had so often been a shield 
to them from the tyrannical and selfish exactions 
of her mother. Poor old Mammy, in particular, 
whose heart, severed from all natural domestic 
ties, had consoled itself with this one beautiful 
being, was almost heart-broken. She cried day 
and night, and was, from excess of sorrow, less 
skilful and alert in her ministrations on her mis- 
tress than usual, which drew down a constant 
storm of invectives on her defenceless head. 

Miss Ophelia felt the loss ; but, in her good and 
honest heart, it bore fruit unto everlasting life. 
She was more softened, more gentle ; and, though 
equally assiduous in every duty, it was with a 
Chastened and quiet air, as one "who communed 
with her own heart not in vain. She was more 
diligent in teaching Topsy, — taught her mainly 
from the Bible, — did not any longer shrink from 
her touch, or manifest an ill-repressed disgust, 
because she felt none. She viewed her now through 
the softened medium that Eva's hand had first 
held before her eyes, and saw in her only an im- 
mortal creature, whom God had sent to be led by 
her to glory and virtue. Topsy did not become at 
once a saint ; but the life and death of Eva did 
work a marked change in her. The callous indif- 
ference was gone ; there was now sensibility, 
hope, desire, and the striving for good, — a strife 
irregular, interrupted, suspended oft, but yet 
renewed again. 

One day, when Topsy had been sent for by Miss 
Ophelia, she came, hastily thrusting something 
into her bosom. 

' ' What are you doing there, you limb ? You 've 
been stealing something, I '11 be bound!" said the 
imperious little Rosa, who had been sent to call 
her, seizing her, at the same time, roughly by the 
arm. 

" You go 'long, Miss Rosa !" said Topsy, pull- 
ing from her ; " 'tan't none o' your business !" 

"None o' your sa'ce!" said Rosa. "I saw 
you hiding something, — I know yer tricks!" and 
Rosa seized her arm, and tried to force her hand 
into her bosom, while Topsy, enraged, kicked and 
fought valiantly for what she considered her 
rights. The clamor and confusion of the battle 
drew Miss Ophelia and St. Clare both to the spot. 

" She 's been stealing !" said Rosa. 

" I han't neither !" vociferated Topsy, sobbing 
With passion. 

•" Give me that, whatever it is !" said Miss 
■Ophelia, firmly. 

Topsy hesitated ; but, on a second order, pulled 
out of her bosom a little parcel done up in the 
foot of one of her own old stockings. 

Miss Ophelia turned it out. There was a small 
book, which had been given to Topsy by Eva, 
Containing a single verse of Scripture arranged 
for every day in the year, and in a paper the curl 
Of hair that she had given her on that memorable 
day when she had taken her last farewell. 

St. Clare was a good deal affected at the sight 
of it ; the little book had been rolled in a long 
atrip of black crape, torn from the funeral weeds. 

" What did you wrap this round the book for?" 
said St. Clare, holding up the crape. 

" Cause, — cause, — cause 'twas Miss Eva. 0, 

don't take 'em away, please!" she said; and, 

Bitting flat down on the floor, and putting her 

ajpron over her head, she began to sob vehemently. 

It was a curious mixture of the pathetic and 



the ludicrous", — the little old stocking, — black 
crape. — text-book, — fair soft curl, — and Top- 
sy's utter distress. 

• St. Clare smiled ; but there were tears m his 
eyes, as he said, 

"Come, come, — don't cry; you shall have 
them!" and putting them together, he threw 
them into her lap, and drew Miss Ophelia with 
him into the parlor. 

" I really think you can make something of that 
concern," he said, pointing with his thumb back- 
ward over his shoulder. " Any mind that is 
capable of a real sorrow is capable of good. You 
must try and do something with her." 

"The child has improved greatly," said Miss 
Ophelia. " I have great hopes of her ; but, Aiv- 
gustine," she said, laying her hand on his arm, 
" one thins; I want to ask ; whose is this child to 



be 



yours or mine 



?" 



" Why, I gave her to you" said Augustine. 

"But not legally; — I want her to be mine 
legally," said Miss Ophelia. 

" Whew ! cousin," said Augustine. " What 
will the Abolition Society think? They '11 have 
a day of fasting appointed for this backsliding, 
if you become a slaveholder!" 

"0, nonsense ! I want her mine, that I may 
have a right to take her to the free states, and 
give her her liberty, that all I am trying to do bo 
not undone." 

"0, cousin, what an awful 'doing evil that 
good may come' ! I can't encourage it." 

" I don't want you to joke, but to reason," said 
Miss Ophelia. " There is no use in my trying t 
make this child a Christian child, unless I savt 
her from all the chances and reverses of slavery , 
and, if you really are willing I should have her, 
I want you to give me a deed of gift, or some 
legal paper." 

"Well, well," said St. Clare, "I will;" and 
he sat down, and unfolded a newspaper to read. 

" But I want it done now," said Miss Ophelia. 

" What 's your hurry V 

" Because now is the only time there ever is to 
do a thing in," said Miss Ophelia. " Come, 
now, here are paper, pen, and ink ; just write a 
paper." 

St. Clare, like most men of his class of mind, 
cordially hated the present tense of action, gen- 
erally ; and, therefore, he was considerably an- 
noyed by Miss Ophelia's downrightness. 

" Why, what 's the matter ?" said he. " Can't 
you take my word 1 One would think you had 
taken lessons of the Jews, coming at a fellow 
so!" 

" I want to make sure of it," said Miss Ophe- 
lia. "You may die, or fail, and then Topsy be 
hustled off to auction, spite of all I can do." 

" Really, you are quite provident. Well, see- 
ing I 'm in the hands of a Yankee, there is noth- 
ing for it but to concede ;" and St. Clare rapidly 
wrote off a deed cff gift, which, as he was well 
versed in the forms of law, he could easily do, 
and signed his name to it in sprawling capitals, 
concluding by a tremendous flourish. 

" There, is n't that black and white, now, Miss 
Vermont?" he said, as he handed it to her. 

" Good boy," said Miss Ophelia, smiling. 
" But must it not be witnessed V 

"0, bother ! — yes. Here," he said, opening 
the door into Marie's apartment, "Marie, cousin 
wants your autograph ; just put your name down 
here." 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



117 



"What's tlii^ 1 " Baid Marie, as Bhe ran over 
the paper. " Ridiculous ! T thought cousin was 
bOO pious for such horrid things," she added, as 
she carelessly wrote her name ; " but, if she has a 

fancv for that article, I am sure she 's welcome." 
" There, now, she 's yours, body and soul," said 
St. (dare, handing the paper. 

" No more mine now than she was before," 
said Miss Ophelia. " Nobody but God has a right 
to give her to me ; but I can protect her now." 

" Well, she 's yours by a fiction of law, then," 
said St. Clare", as he turned back into the parlor, 
and sat down to his paper. 

Miss Ophelia, who seldom sat much in Marie's 
company, followed him into the parlor, having 
first carefully laid away the paper. 

"Augustine," she said, suddenly, as she sat 
knitting, " have you ever made any provision for 
your servants, in case of your death ?" 

"No," said St. Clare, as he read on. 

" Then all your indulgence to them may prove 
a great cruelty, by and by." 

St. Clare had often thought the same thing 
himself: hut lie answered, negligently, 

" Well, 1 mean to make a provision, by and by." 

" When ?" said Miss Ophelia. 

" 0, one of these days." 

" What if you should die first?" 

"Cousin, what's the matter?" said St. Clare, 
laying down his paper and looking at her. " Do 
you think I show r symptoms of yellow fever or 
cholera, that you are making post mortem ar- 
rangements with such zeal V 

" ' In the midst of life we are in death,' " said 
Miss Ophelia. 

St. Clare rose up, and laying the paper down 
carelessly, walked to the door that stood open on 
the veranda, to put an end to a conversation that 
was not agreeable to him. Mechanically, he 
repeated the last word again, — " Death ! " — and 
as he leaned against the railings, and watched 
the sparkling water as it rose and fell in the 
fountain ; and, as in a dim and dizzy haze, saw 
flowers and trees* and vases of the courts, he 
repeated again the mystic word so common in 
every mouth, yet of such fearful power, — 
" Death !" " Strange that there should be such 
a word," he said, " and such a thing, and we 
ever forget it ; that one should be living, warm 
and beautiful, full of hopes, desires and wants, 
one day, and the next be gone, utterly gone, and 
forever ! ' ' 

It was a warm, golden evening ; and, as he 
walked to the other end of the veranda, he saw 
Tom busily intent on his Bible, pointing, as he 
did so, with his finger, to each successive word, and 
whispering them to himself with an earnest air. 

" Want me to read to you, Tom?" said St. 
Clare, seating himself carelessly by him. 

"If Mas'r pleases," said Tom, gratefully; 
'< Mas'r makes it so much plainer." 

St. Clare took the book and glanced at the 
place, and began reading one of the passages 
which Tom had designated by the heavy marks 
around it. It ran as follows : 

" When the Son of man shall come in his glory, 
and all his holy angels with him, then shall he 
sit upon the throne of his glory : and before him 
shall be gathered all nations ; and he shall sepa- 
rate them one from another, as a shepherd 
divideth^ his sheep from the goats." St. Clare 
read on in an animated voice, till he came to the 
last of the verses. 



" Then shall the King say unto them on his 
left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into ever- 
lasting fire : for I was an hungered, and ye gave 
me no meat : I was thirsty, and ye gave me no 
drink : I was a stranger, and ye took me not in : 
naked, and ye clothed me not : I was sick, and in 
prison, and 3-0 visited me not. Then shall they 
answer unto him, Lord, when saw we thee an hun- 
gered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, 
or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 
Then shall he say unto them, Inasmuch as ye did 
it not to one of the least of these my brethren, ye 
did it not to me." 

St. Clare seemed struck with this last passage, 
for he read it twice, — the second time slowly, 
and as if he were revolving the Avorcls in his mind. 

"Tom," he said, "these folks that get such 
hard measure seem to have been doing just what I 
have, — living good, easy, respectable lives ; and 
not troubling themselves to inquire how many of 
their brethren were hungry, or athirst, or sick, or 
in prison." 

Tom did not answer. 

St. Clare rose up and walked thoughtfully up 
and down the veranda, seeming to forget every- 
thing in his own thoughts ; so absorbed was he, 
that 'Tom had to remind him twice that the tea- 
bell had rung, before he could get his attention. 

St. Clare was absent and thoughtful, all tea- 
time. After tea, he and Marie and Miss Ophelia 
took possession of the parlor, almost in silence. 

Marie disposed herself on a lounge, under a 
silken mosquito curtain, and was soon sound 
asleep. Miss' Ophelia silently busied herself 
with her knitting. St. Clare sat down to the 
piano, and began playing a soft and melancholy 
movement with the iEolian accompaniment. He 
seemed in a deep revery, and to be soliloquizing 
to himself by music. After a little, he opened 
one of the drawers, took out an old music-book 
whose leaves were yellow with age, and began 
turning it over. 

" There," he said to Miss Ophelia, " this was 
one of my mother's books, — and here is her 
handwriting, — come and look at it. She copied 
and arranged this from Mozart's Requiem. ' ' Miss 
Ophelia came accordingly. 

" It was something she used to sing often," 
said St. Clare. " I think I can hear her now." 

He struck a few majestic chords, and began 
singing that grand old Latin piece, the " Dies 
Irse." 

Tom, who was listening in the outer veranda*, 
was drawn by the sound to the very door, where 
he stood earnestly. He did not understand the 
words, of course ; but the music and manner of 
singing appeared to affect him strongly, especr 
ially when St. Clare sang the more pathetic 
parts. Tom would have sympathized more heart- 
ily, if he had known the meaning of the beauti- 
ful words : 

Recordare Jesu pie 
Quod sum causa tuae vise 
Ne me perdas, ilia die 
Quserens me sedisti lassus 
Redemisti crueem passus 
Tantus labor non sit cassus.* 

* These lines have been thus rather inadequately 
translated : 

Think, Jesus, for what reason 

Thou endured'st earth's spite and treason. 

Nor me lose, in that dread season j 

Seeking me, thy worn feet hasted, 

On the cross thy soul death tasted. 

Let not all these toils be wasted. 



118 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN I OR, 



St. Clare threw a deep and pathetic expression 
into the words ; for the shadowy veil of years 
seemed drawn away, and he seemed to hear his 
mother's voice leading his. Voice and instru- 
ment seemed both living, and threw out with 
vivid sympathy those strains which the ethereal 
Mozart first conceived as his own dying re- 
quiem. 

When St. Clare had done singing, h e sa £ lean- 
ing his head upon his hand a few moments, and 
then began walking up and down the floor. 

" What a sublime conception is that of a last 
judgment!" said he, — "a righting of all the 
wrongs of ages ! — a solving of all moral prob- 
lems, by an unanswerable wisdom ! It is, indeed, 
a wonderful image." 

" It is a fearful one to us," said Miss Ophelia. 

" It ought to be to me, I suppose," said St. 
Clare, stopping, thoughtfully, '.' I was reading 
to Tom, this afternoon, that chapter in Matthew 
that gives an account of it, and I have been 
quite struck with it. One should have expected 
some terrible enormities charged to those Avho are 
excluded from heaven, as the reason ; but no, -»- 
they are condemned for not doing positive good, 
as if that included every possible harm." 

" Perhaps," said Miss Ophelia, "it is impos- 
sible for a person who does no good not to do 
harm." 

"And what," said St. Clare, speaking ab- 
stractedly, but with deep feeling, " what shall be 
said of one whose own heart, whose education, 
and the wants of society, have called in vain to 
some noble purpose ; who has floated on, a 
dreamy, neutral spectator of the struggles, ago- 
nies, and Avrongs of man, when he should have 
been a worker ? ' ' 

" I should say," said Miss Ophelia, "that he 
ought to repent, and begin now." 

"Always practical and to the point!" said 
St. Clare, his face breaking out into a smile. 
" You never leave me any time for general reflec- 
tions, cousin ; you always bring me short up 
against the actual present ; you have a kind of 
eternal now always in your mind." 

" Now is all the time I have anything to do 
with," said Miss Ophelia. 

"Dear little Eva, — poor child!" said St. 
Clare, " she had set her little simple soul on a 
good work for me." 

It was the first time since Eva's death that he 
had ever said as many words as these of her, and 
he spoke now evidently repressing very strong feel- 

" My view of Christianity is such," he added, 
n that I think no man can consistently profess it 
without throwing the whole weight of his being 
against this monstrous system of injustice that 
lies at the foundation of all our society ; and, if 
need be, sacrificing himself in the battle. That 
is, I mean that / could not be a Christian other- 
wise, though I have certainly had intercourse 
with a great many enlightened and Christian peo- 
ple who did no such thing ; and I confess that the 
apathy of religious people on this subject, their 
want of perception of wrongs that filled me with 
horror, have engendered in me more scepticism 
than any other thing." 

" If you knew all this," said Miss Ophelia, 
•* why did n't you do it ?" 

"0, because I have had only that kind of be- 
nevolence which consists in' lying on a sofa, and 
cursing the church and clergy for not being mar- 



tyrs and confessors. One can see, you know, 
very easily, how others ought to be martyrs." 

" Well, are you going to do differently now?" 
said Miss Ophelia. 

" God only knows the future," said St. Clare. 
"I am braver than I was, because I have lost 
all ; and he who has nothing to lose can afford 
all risks." 

" And what are you going to do?" 

" My duty, I hope, to the poor and lowly, as 
fast as I find it out," said St. Clare, "begin- 
ning with my own servants, for whom I have yet 
done nothing ; and, perhaps, at some future day, 
it may appear that I can do something for a whole 
class ; something to save my country from the 
disgrace of that false position in which she now 
stands before all civilized nations." 

" Do you suppose it possible that a nation ever 
will voluntarily emancipate?" said Miss Ophelia^ 

"I don't know," said St. Clare. " This is a 
day of great deeds. Heroism and disinterested- 
ness are rising up, here and there, in the earth. 
The Hungarian nobles set free millions of serfs, 
at an immense pecuniary loss ; and, perhaps., 
among us may be found generous spirits, who do 
not estimate honor and justice by dollars and 
cents." 

" I hardly think so," said Miss Ophelia. 

" But, suppose we should rise up to-morrow 
and emancipate, who would educate these mil- 
lions, and teach them how to use their freedom? 
They never would rise to do much among u». 
The fact is, we are too lazy and unpractical, ouiv 
selves, ever to give them much of an idea of that 
industry and energy which is necessary to form 
them into men . They will have to go north , where 
labor is the fashion, — the universal custom ; and 
tell me, now, is there enough Christian philan- 
thropy, among your northern states, to bear with 
the process of their education and elevation ? You 
send thousands of dollars to foreign missions ; 
but could you endure to have the heathen sent 
into your towns and villages, and give your time, 
and thoughts, and money, to raise them to the 
Christian standard? That's what I want to 
know. If we emancipate, are you willing to ed- 
ucate? How many families, in your town, would 
take in a negro man and woman, teach them, bear 
with them, and seek to make them Christians? 
How many merchants would take Adolph, if I 
wanted to make him a clerk ; or mechanics, if I 
wanted him taught a trade ? If I wanted to put 
Jane and Rosa to a school, how many schools 
are there in the northern states that would take 
them in ? how many families that would board 
them? and yet they are as white as many a 
woman, north or south. You see, cousin, I want 
justice done us. We are in a bad position. We 
are the more obvious oppressors of the negro ; but 
the unchristian prejudice of the north is an op- 
pressor almost equally severe." 

" Well, cousin, I know it is so," said Miss 
Ophelia, — " I know it was so with me, till I 
saw that it was my duty to overcome it ; but I 
trust I have overcome it ; and I know there are 
many good people at the north, who in this mat- 
ter need only to be taught what their duty is, to 
do it. It would certainly be a greater self-denial 
to receive heathen among us, than to send mis- 
sionaries to them ; but 1 think we would do it." 

" You would, I know," said St. Clare. " I 'd 
like to see anything you wouldn't do, if you 
thought it your duty ! ' ' 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



119 



11 Well, I 'm not uncommonly good," said 
Miss Ophelia. "Others would, if they saw 

- i do, T intend to take Topsy home, 

when I suppose our folka will wonder, at 

: but 1 think they will be brought to Bee as 

1 do. Besides, I know there are many people at 

the north who do exactly what you said." 

• 5 . but they are a minority; and, if we 
should begin to emancipate to any extent, we 
should Boon hear from you.*' 

Miss Ophelia did not reply. There was a 
pause o( some moments ; and St. ('hire's counte- 
nance was overcast by a sad. dreamy expression. 

•• 1 don't know what makes me think of my 
mother so much to-night," he said. "I have a 
strange kind of feeling, as if she were near 
me. I k" p thinking of things she used to say. 
Strange, what brings these past things so viv- 
idly hack to US, sometimes !" 

St. Clare walked up and down the room for 
some minutes more, and then said, 

" T believe I '11 go down street, a few moments, 
and hear the news, to-night." 

lie took his hat, and passed out. 

Tom followed him to the passage, out of the 
court, and asked if he should attend him. 

'■ No, my boy," said St. Clare. ''I shall be 
back in an hour.'' 

Tom sat down in the veranda. It was a beau- 
tiful moonlight evening, and he sat watching the 
rising and falling spray of the fountain, and lis- 
tening to its murmur. Tom thought of lis home, 
and that he should soon be a free man. and aide 
to return to it at will. He thought how ho should 
work to buy his wife and boys. lie felt the mus- 
cles of his brawny arms with a sort of joy, as he 
thought they would soon belong to himself, ana 1 
how much they could do to work out the freedom 
of his family. Then he thought of his noble 
voung master, and, ever second to that, came the 
habitual prayer that he had always offered for 
him ; and then, his thoughts passed on to the 
beautiful Eva, whom he now thought of among 
the angels ; and he thought till he almost fancied 
that that bright face and golden hair were look- 
ing upon him, out of the spray of the fountain. 
And, so musing, he fell asleep, and dreamed he 
saw her coming hounding towards him, just as 
she used to come, with a wreath of jessamine in 
her hair, her cheeks bright, her eyes radiant with 
delight; but, as he looked, she seemed to rise 
from the ground ; her cheeks wore a paler hue, 
— her eyes had a deep, divine radiance, a golden 
halo seemed around her head, — and she vanished 
from his sight ; and Tom was awakened by a loud 
knocking, and a sound of many voices at the gate. 

He hastened to undo it; and, with smothered 
Toices and heavy tread, came several men, bring- 
ing a body, wrapped in a cloak, and lying on a 
shutter. The light of the lamp fell full on the 
face ; and Tom gave a wild cry of amazement and 
despair, that rung through all the galleries, as the 
men advanced, with their burden, to the open 
parlor door, where Miss Ophelia still sat knitting. 

St. Clare had turned into a cafe, to look over an 
evening paper. As he was reading, an affray 
arose between two gentlemen in the room, who 
were both partially intoxicated. St. Clare and 
one or two others made an effort to separate them, 
and St. Clare received a fatal stab in the side with 
a bowie-knife, which he was attempting to wrest 
from one of them. 

The housj was full of cries and lamentations, 



shrieks and screams ; servants trantically tearing 
their hair, throwing themselves on the ground, or 
running distractedly about, lamenting. Tom and 
Miss Ophelia alone seemed to have any presence 
of mind : for Marie was in strong hysteric convul- 
sions. At Miss Ophelia's direction, one of the 
lounges in the parlor was hastily prepared, and 
the bleeding form laid upon it. St. Clare had 
fainted, through pain and loss of blood ; but, as 
Miss Ophelia applied restoratives, he revived, 
opened his eves, looked fixedly on them, looked 
earnestly around the room, his eyes travelling wist- 
fully over every object, and finally they rested on 
his mother's picture. 

The physician now arrived, and made his ex- 
amination. It was evident, from the expression of 
his face, that there was no hope ; but he applied 
himself to dressing the wound, and he and Miss 
Ophelia and Tom proceeded composedly with this 
work, amid the lamentations and sobs and cries 
of the affrighted servants, who had clustered about 
the doors and windows of the veranda. 

"Now," said the physician, "we must turn 
all these creatures out ; all depends on hi3 being 
kept quiet.'* 

St. Clare opened his eyes, and looked fixedly on 
tlv distressed beings, whom Miss Ophelia and the 
doctor were trying to urge from the apartment. 
" Poor creatures !" ho said, and an expression of 
bitter self-reproach passed over his face. Adolph 
absolutely refused to go. Terror had deprived him 
of all presence of mind ; he threw himself along 
on the floor, and nothing could persuade him to 
rise. The rest yielded to Miss Ophelia's urgent 
representations, that their master's safety depended 
on their stillness and obedience. 

St. Clare could say but little ; he lay with his 
eyes shut, but it was evident that he wrestled 
with bitter thoughts. After a while, he laid his 
hand on Tom's, who was kneeling beside him, and 
said, '* Tom ! poor fellow !" 

" What, Mas'r?" said Tom, earnestly. 

"I am dying!" said St. Clare, pressing his 



hand 



pray 



"If you would like a clergyman — " said the 
physician. 

St. Clare hastily shook his head, and said again 
to Tom, more earnestly, " Prav !" 

And Tom did pray, with ill his mind and 
strength, for the soul that was passing, — the soul 
that seemed looking so steadily and mournfully 
from those large, melancholy blue eyes. It was 
literally prayer offered with strong crying and tears. 

When Tom ceased to speak, St. Clare reached 
out and took his hand, looking earnestly at him, 
but saying nothing. He closed his eyes, but still 
retained his hold ; for, in the gates of eternity, the 
black hand and the white hold each other with an 
equal clasp. He murmured softly to himself, at 
broken intervals, 

" Recordare Jesu pie — 

* * * * 

No me perdas — ille die 
Qucerens me — eedisti lassus." 

It was evident that the words he had been sing 
ing that evening were passing through his mind, 
— words of entreaty addressed to Infinite Pity 
His lips moved at intervals, as parts of the hymn 
fell brokenly from them. 

" His mind is wandering," said the doctor. 

"No! it is coming home, at last!" said St 
Clare, energetically; " at last ! at last !" 



120 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR, 



The effort of speaking exhausted him. The 
sinking paleness of death fell on him ; but with 
it there fell, as if shed from the wings of some 
pitying spirit, a beautiful expression of peace, like 
that of a wearied child who sleeps. 

So he lay for a few moments. They saw that 
the mighty hand was on him. Just before the 
spirit parted, he opened his eyes, with a sudden 
light, as of joy and recognition, and said "Mother!" 
and then he was gone ! 



CHAPTER XXIX. 



THE UNPROTECTED. 



We hear often of the distress of the negro ser- 
vants, on the loss of a kind master ; and with good 
reason, for no creature on God's earth is left more 
utterly unprotected and desolate than the slave in 
these circumstances. 

The child who has lost a father has still the 
protection of friends, and of the law ; he is some- 
thing, and can do something, — has acknowledged 
rights and position ; the slave has none. The law 
regards him, in every respect, as devoid of rights 
as a bale of merchandise. The only possible ac- 
knowledgment of any of the longings and wants 
of a human and immortal creature, which are 
given to him, comes to him through the sovereign 
and irresponsible will of his master ; and when 
that master is stricken down, nothing remains. 

The number of those men who know how to use 
wholly irresponsible power humanely and gener- 
ously is small. Everybody knows this, and the 
slave knows it best of all ; so that he feels that 
there are ten chances of his finding an abusive and 
tyrannical master, to one of his finding a consider- 
ate and kind one. Therefore is it that the wail over 
a kind master is loud and long, as well it may be. 

When St. Clare breathed his last, terror and 
consternation took hold of all his household. He 
had been stricken down so in a moment, in the 
flower and strength of his youth ! Every room 
and gallery of the house resounded with sobs and 
shrieks of despair. 

Marie, whose nervous system had been enervated 
by a constant course of self-indulgence, had nothing 
to support the terror of the shock, and, at the 
time her husband breathed his last, was passing 
from one fainting fit to another ; and he to whom 
she had been joined in the mysterious tie of mar- 
riage passed from her forever, without the possi- 
bility of even a parting word. 

Miss Ophelia, with characteristic strength and 
self-control, had remained with her kinsman to 
the last, — all eye, all ear, all attention ; doing 
everything of the little that could be done, and 
joining with her whole soul in the tender and 
impassioned prayers which the poor slave had 
poured forth for the soul of his dying master. 

When they were arranging him for his last 
rest, they found upon his- bosom a small, plain 
miniature case, opening with a spring. It was 
the miniature of a noble and beautiful female 
face ; and on the reverse, under a crystal, a lock 
of dark hair. They laid them back on the lifeless 
breast, — dust to dust, — poor mournful relics of 
early dreams, which once made that cold heart 
beat so warmly ! 

Tom's whole soul was filled with thoughts of 
eternity ; and while he ministered around the 
lifeless clay, he did not once think that the sud- 



den stroke had left him in hopeless slavery, fie 
felt at peace about his master ; for in that hour, 
when he had poured forth his prayer into the 
bosom of his Father, he had found an answer of 
quietness and assurance springing up within him- 
self. In the depths of his own affectionate 
nature, he felt able to perceive something of the 
fulness of Divine love ; for an old oracle hath 
thus written, — " He that dwelleth in love dwell- 
eth in God, and God in him." Tom hoped and 
trusted, and was at peace. 

But the funeral passed, with all its pageant of 
black crape, and prayers, and solemn faces ; and 
back rolled the cool, muddy waves of every -day 
life ; and up came the everlasting hard inquiry of 
" What is to be done next?*' 

It rose to the mind of Marie, as, dressed in 
loose morning-robes, and surrounded by anxious 
servants, she sat up in a great easy-chair, and 
inspected samples of crape and bombazine. It 
rose to Miss Ophelia, who began to turn her 
thoughts towards her northern home. It rose, 
in silent terrors, to the minds of the servants, 
who well knew the unfeeling, tyrannical charac- 
ter of the mistress in whose hands they were left. 
All knew, very well, that the indulgences which 
had been accorded to them were not from their 
mistress, but from their master; and that, now he 
was gone, there would be no screen between them 
and every tyrannous infliction which a temper 
soured by affliction might devise. 

It was about a fortnight after the funeral, that 
Miss Ophelia, busied one day in her apartment, 
heard a gentle tap at. the door. She opened it, 
and there stood Rosa, the pretty young quadroon, 
whom we have before often noticed, her hair in 
disorder, and her eyes swelled with crying. 

i; 0, Miss Feely," she said, foiling on her 
knees, and catching the skirt of her dress, "c/o, 
do go to Miss Marie for me I. do plead for me ? 
She 's goin' to send me out to be whipped, — look 
there !" And she handed to Miss Ophelia a paper. 

It was an order, written in Marie's delicate 
Italian hand, to the master of a whipping-estab- 
lishment, to give the bearer fifteen lashes. 

" What have you been doing?" said Miss 
Ophelia. 

"You know, Miss Feely, I've got such a bad 
temper ; it 's very bad of me. I was trying on 
Miss Marie's dress, and she slapped my face ; 
and I spoke out before I thought, and was saucy ; 
and she said that she 'd bring me down, and have 
me know, once for all, that I wasn't going to be 
so topping as I had been ; and she wrote this, 
and says I shall carry it. I 'd rather she 'd kill 
me, right out." 

Miss Ophelia stood considering ., with the paper , 
in her hand. 

"You see, Miss Feely," said Rosa, "I don't' 
mind the whipping so much, if Miss Marie or you 
was to do it ; but, to be sent to a man / and such 
a horrid man, — ■ the shame of it, Miss Feely ! " 

Miss Ophelia well knew that it was the uni- 
versal custom to send women and young, girls to 
whipping-houses, to the hands of the lowest of 
men, — men vile enough to make this their profes- 
sion, — there to be subjected to brutal exposure and 
shameful correction. She had known it before ; 
but hitherto she had never realized it, till she 
saw the slender form of Rosa almost convulsed 
with distress. All the honest blood of woman- 
hood, the strong New England blood of liberty, 
flushed to her cheeks, and throbbed bitterly in her 



LIFE AMOXG THE LOWLY. 



121 



indignant heart; but, with habitual prudence 
and self-control, she mastered herself , and, crush- 
ing the paper firmly in her hand, she merely said 
to Rosa, 

•• Sit down, child, while I go to your mistress." 

u Shameful ! monstrous! outrageous!" she 
said to herself, as she was crossing the parlor. 

She found Marie sitting up in her easy-chair, 
with Mammy standing by her, combing her hair ; 
Jane sat on the ground before her, busy in chafing 
her feet. 

" How do you find yourself, to-day?" said Miss 
Ophelia. 

A deep sigh, and a closing of the eyes, was the 
only reply, for a moment ; and then Marie an- 
swered, " O, I don't know, cousin; I suppose 
I 'in as Ave. I as I ever shall be !" and Marie wiped 
her eyes with a cambric handkerchief, bordered 
with an inch deep of black. 

" I came," said Miss Ophelia, with a short, 
dry cough, such as commonly introduces a difficult 
subject, — '-I came to speak with you about poor 
Rosa/; 

Marie's eyes were open wide enough now, and 
a flush rose to her sallow cheeks, as she answered, 
sharply, 

11 Well, what about her ?" 

" She is very sorry for her fault." 

" She is, is she ? She '11 be sorrier, before I 've 
done with her ? I 've endured that child's impu- 
dence long enough ; and now I '11 bring her down, 
— I '11 make her lie in the dust !" 

" But could not you punish her some other 
way, — some way that would be less shame- 
fur?'" 

" I mean to shame her ; that 's just what I 
want. She has all her life presumed on her deli- 
cacy, and her good looks, and her lady-like airs, till 
she forgets who she is ; — and I '11 give her one 
lesson that will bring her down, I fancy !" 

" But, cousin, consider that, if you destroy 
delicacy and a sense of shame in a young girl, 
you deprave her very fast.'' 

"Delicacy!" said Marie, with a scornful 
laugh, — "a fine word for such as she! I'll 
teach her, with all her airs, that she 's no better 
than the raggedest black wench that walks the 
streets ! She '11 take no more airs with me!" 

" You will answer to God for such cruelty !" 
said Miss Ophelia, with energy. 

" Cruelty, — I 'd like to know what the cruelty 
is ! I wrote orders for only fifteen lashes, and 
told him to put them on lightly. I 'm sure there 'a 
no cruelty there !" 

" No cruelty !" said Miss Ophelia. " I 'm sure 
any girl might rather be killed outright !" 

" It might seem So to anybody with your feel- 
ing ; but all these creatures get used to it ; it 's 
the only way they can be kept in order. Once let 
them feel that they are to take any airs about 
delicacy, and all that, and they '11 run all over 
you, just as my servants always have. I 've be- 
gun now to bring them under ; and I '11 have 
them all to know that I '11* send one out to be 
whipped as soon as another, if they don't mind 
themselves!" said Marie, looking around her 
decidedly. 

Jane hung her head and cowered at this, for 
she felt as if it was particularly directed to her. 
Miss Ophelia sat for a moment, as if she had 
swallowed some explosive mixture, and were 
ready to burst. Then, recollecting the utter use- 
lessness of contention with such a nature, she 



shut her lips resolutely, gathered, herself up. and 
walked out of the room. 

It was hard to go back and tell Rosa that she 
could do nothing for her ; and, shortly after, one 
of the man-servants came to say that her mistress 
had ordered him to take Rosa with him to the 
whipping-house, whither she was hurried, in 
spite of her tears and entreaties. 

A few days after, Tom was standing musing by 
the balconies, when he was joined by Adolph, 
who, since the death of his master, had been 
entirely crest-fallen and disconsolate. Adolph 
knew that he had always been an object of dis- 
like to [Marie ; but while his master lived he had 
paid but little attention to it. Now that he was 
gone, he had moved about in daily dread and 
trembling, not knowing what might befall him 
next. Marie had held several consultations with 
her lawyer ; after communicating with St. Clare's 
brother, it was determined to sell the place, and 
all the servants, except her own personal prop- 
erty, and these she intended to take with her, 
and go back to her father's plantation. 

" Do ye know, Tom, that we 've all got to be 
sold ?" said Adolph. 

" How did you hear that?" said Tom. 

" I hid myself behind the curtains when Missis 
was talking with the lawyer. In a few days we 
shall all be sent off to auction, Tom." 

" The Lord's will be done !" said Tom, folding 
his arms and sighing heavily. 

" ^Ye '11 never get another such a master," said 
Adolph, apprehensively ; '" but I 'd rather be sold 
than take my chance under Missis." 

Tom turned away ; his heart was full. The 
hope of liberty, the thought of distant wife and 
children, rose up before his patient soul, as to 
the mariner shipwrecked almost in port rises the 
vision of the church-spire and loving roofs of his 
native village, seen over the top of some black 
wave only for one last farewell. He drew his 
arms tightly over his bosom, and choked back the 
bitter tears, and tried to pray. The poor old soul 
had such a singular, unaccountable prejudice in 
favor of liberty, that it was a hard wrench for 
him ; and the more he said " Thy will be done," 
the worst he felt. 

He sought Miss Ophelia, who, ever since Eva's 
death, had treated him with marked and respect- 
ful kindness. 

"Miss Feely," he said, " Mas'r St. Clare 
promised* me my freedom. He told me that he 
had begun to take it out for me ; and now, per- 
haps, if Miss Feely would be good enough to 
speak about it to Missis, she would feel like goin' 
on with it, as it was Mas'r St. Clare's wish." 

" I'll speak for you, Tom, and do my best," 
said Miss Ophelia; "but, if it depends on Mrs. 
St. Clare, I can't hope much for you ; neverthe- 
less, I will try." 

This incident occurred a few days after that 
of Rosa, while Miss Ophelia was busied in pre- 
parations to return north. 

Seriously reflecting within herself, she con- 
sidered that perhaps she had shown too hasty a 
warmth of language in her former interview with 
Marie ; and she resolved that she would now 
endeavor. to moderate her zeal, and to be as con- 
ciliatory as possible. So the good soul gathered 
herself up, and taking her knitting, resolved to go 
into Marie's room, be as agreeable as possible, 
and negotiate Tom's case with all the diplomatic 
skill of which she was mistress. 



122 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN I OR, 



She found Marie reclining at length upon a 
lounge, supporting herself on one elbow by pil- 
lows, while Jane, who had been out shopping, 
was displaying before her certain samples of thin 
black stuffs. 

" That will do," said Marie, selecting one ; 
"only I'm not sure about its being properly 
mourning." 

"Laws, Missis," said Jane, volubly, "Mrs. 
General Derbennon wore just this very thing, 
after the general died, last summer ; it makes up 
lovely!" 

"What do you think?" said Marie to Miss 
Ophelia. 

" It 's a matter of custom, I suppose," said 
Miss Ophelia. " You can judge about it better 
than I." 

"The fact is," said Marie, "that I haven't 
a dress in the world that I can wear ; and, as I 
am going to break up the establishment, and go 
off, next week, I must decide upon something." 
" Are you going so soon ?" 
" Yes. St. Clare's brother has written, and he 
and the lawyer think that the servants and furni- 
ture had better be put up at auction, and the 
place left with our lawyer." 

" There 's one thing I wanted to speak with 
you about," said Miss Ophelia. "Augustine 
promised Tom his liberty, and began the legal 
forms necessary to it. 1 hope you will use your 
influence to have it perfected." 

"Indeed, I shall do no such thing!" said 
Marie, sharply. " Tom is one of the most valua- 
ble servants on the place, — it couldn't be 
afforded, any way. Besides, what does he want 
of liberty 1 He's a great deal better off as he 
is." 

" But he docs desire it, very earnestly, and his 
master promised it," said Miss Ophelia. 

" I dare say he does want it," said Marie; 
" they all want it, just because they are a 
discontented set, — always wanting what they 
have n't got. Now, I 'm principled against eman- 
cipating, in any case. Keep a negro under the 
care of a master, and he does well enough, and is 
respectable ; but set them free, and they get lazy, 
and won't work, and take to drinking, and go all 
down to be mean, Avorthless fellows. I 've seen 
it tried, hundreds of times. It 's no favor to set 
them free." 

"But Tom is so steady, industrious, and 
pious." 

" 0, you needn't tell me! I've seen a hun- 
dred like him. He'll do very well, as long as 
he 's taken care of, — that 's all." 

" But, then, consider," said Miss Ophelia, 
" when you set him up for sale, the chances of 
his getting a bad master." 

"0, that's all humbug!" said Marie; "it 
isn't one time in a hundred that a good fellow 
gets a bad master ; most masters are good, for all 
the talk that is made. I 've lived and grown up 
here, in the South, and I never yet was acquainted 
with a master that did n't treat his servants well, 
— quite as well as is worth while. I don't feel 
any fears on that head." 

" Well," said Miss Ophelia, energetically, " I 
know it was one of the last wishes of your hus- 
band that Tom should have his liberty ; it was 
one of the promises that he made to dear little 
Eva on her death-bed, and I should not think you 
would feel at liberty to disregard it." 

Mario had her face C, Tered with her handker- 



chief at this appeal, and began sobbing and using 
her smelling-bottle, with great vehemence. 

" Everybody goes against me !" she said. " Ev- 
erybody is so inconsiderate ! I should n't have 
expected that you would bring up all these re- 
membrances of my troubles to me, — it's so 
inconsiderate ! But nobody ever does consider, 

— my trials are so peculiar ! It 's so hard, that 
when I had only one daughter, she should have 
been taken ! — and when I had a husband that just 
exactly suited me, — and I 'm so hard to be suited ! 

— he should be taken ! And you seem to have 
so little feeling for me, and keep bringing it up 
to me so carelessly, — when you know how it 
overcomes me ! I suppose you mean well ; but 
it is very inconsiderate, — very!" And Marie 
sobbed, and gasped for breath, and called Mammy 
to open the window, and to bring her the cam- 
phor-bottle, and to bathe her head, and unhook 
her dress. And, in the general confusion that 
ensued, Miss Ophelia made her escape to her 
apartment. 

She saw, at once, that it would do no good to 
say anything more ; for Marie had an indefinite 
capacity for hysteric fits ; and, after this, when- 
ever her husband's or Eva's wishes with regard to 
the servants were alluded to, she always found it 
convenient to set one in operation. Miss Ophelia, 
therefore, did the next best thing she could for 
Tom, — she wrote a letter to Mrs. Shelby for him, 
stating his troubles, and urging them to send to 
his relief. 

The next day Tom and Adolph, and some half 
a dozen other servants, were marched down to a 
slave-warehouse, to await the convenience of the 
trader, who was going to make up a lot for auc- 
tion. 



CHAPTER XXX. 



THE SLAVE WAREHOUSE. 



A slave warehouse ! Perhaps some of my 
readers conjure up horrible visions of such a place. 
They fancy some foul, obscure den, some horrible 
Tartarus Piriformis, ingens, cui lumen ademtptum" 
But no, innocent friend ; in these days men have 
learned the art of sinning expertly and genteelly, 
so as not to shock the eyes and senses of respect- 
able society. Human property is high in the 
market ; and is, therefore, well fed, well cleaned, 
tended, and looked after, that it may come to a 
sale sleek, and strong, and shining. A slave 
warehouse in New Orleans is a house externally 
not much unlike many others, kept with neatness ; 
and Avhere every day you may see arranged, under 
a sort of shed along the outside, rows of men and 
women, who stand there as a sign of the property 
sold within. 

Then you shall be courteously entreated to call 
and examine, and shall find an abundance of 
husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, fathers, moth- 
ers and young children, to be " sold separately, 
or in lots to suit the convenience of the pur- 
chaser ;" and that soul immortal, once bought 
with blood and anguish by the Son of God, when 
the earth shook, and the rocks rent, and the 
graves were opened, can be sold, leased, mort>- 
gaged, exchanged for groceries or dry goods, to 
suit the phases of trade, or the fancy of the 
purchaser. 

It was a day or two after the conversation 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



123 



between Marie and Miss Ophelia, that Tom, 
Adolph, ami about a half a dozen others of the 
St. Clare estate, were turned over to the loving- 
kindness of Mr. Skeggs, the keeper of a depot on 
Btreet, to await the auction, next day. 

Tom had with him quite a sizable trunk full of 
clothing, as had most others of them. They were 
ushered, for the night, into a long room, where 
many other men, of all ages, sizes, and shades of 
complexion, were assembled, and from which 
roars of laughter and unthinking merriment were 
proceeding. 

" Ah, ha ! that 's rigl.*. Go it, boys, — go it!" 
said Mr. Skeggs, the keeper. "My people are 
always so merry ! Sambo, I see !" he said, speak- 
ing approvingly to a burly negro who was per- 
forming tricks of low buffoonery, which occasioned 
ihe shouts which Tom had heard. 

As might be imagined, Tom was in no humor 
to join these proceedings ; and, therefore, setting 
his trunk as far as possible from the noisy group, 
he sat down on it, and leaned his face against 
the wall. 

The dealers in the human article make scrupu- 
lous and systematic efforts to promote noisy mirth 
among them, as a means of drowning reflection, 
and rendering them insensible to their condition. 
The whole object of the training to which the 
negro is put, from the time he is sold in the 
northern market till he arrives south, is system- 
atically directed towards making him callous, 
unthinking, and brutal. The slave-dealer collects 
his gang in Virginia or Kentucky, and drives them 
to some convenient, healthy "place, — often a 
watering place, — to be fattened. Here they are 
fed full daily ; and, because some incline to pine, 
a fiddle is kept commonly going among them, and 
they are made to dance daily : and he who refuses 
to be merry — in whose soul thoughts of wife, or 
child, or home, are too strong for him to be gay 
-—is marked as sullen and dangerous, and sub- 
jected to all- the evils which the ill will of an 
utterlyirresponsible and hardened man can inflict 
upon him. Briskness, alertness, and cheerfulness 
of appearance, especially before observers, are 
constantly enforced upon them, both by the hope 
of thereby getting a good master, and the fear of 
all that the driver may bring upon them, if they 
• prove unsalable. 

" AVhat dat ar nigger doin' here?" said Sambo, 
coming up to Tom, after Mr. Skeggs had left the 
room. Sambo w r as a full black, of great size, 
very lively, voluble, and full of trick and grimace. 

" What you doin' here?" said Sambo, coming 
np to Tom, and poking him facetiously in the 
side. "Meditatin', eh?" 

'' I am to be sold at the auction, to-morrow," 
said Tom, quietly. 

"Sold at auction, — haw! haw! boys, an't 
this yer fun ? I wish't I was gwine that ar way ! 
— tell ye, wouldn't I make 'em laugh? But 
how is it, — dis yer whole lot gwine to-morrow ?" 
said Sambo, laying his hand freely on Adolph's 
shoulder. 

" Please to let me alone !" said Adolph, fierce- 
ly, straightening himself up, with extreme dis- 
gust. 

m " Law, now, boys ! dis yer 's one o' yer white 
niggers, — kind o' cream color, ye know, scented !" 
said he, coming up to Adolph and snuffing. "0, 
Lor! he'd do for a tobaccer-shop ; they could 
keep him to scent snuff! Lor, he 'd keep a whole 
shop agwine, — he would ! " 



" I say, keep off, can't you?" said Adolph, 
enraged. 

"Lor, now, how touchy w r e is, — we white 
niggers ! Look at us, now !" and Sambo gave a 
ludicrous imitation of Adolph's manner ; " here 's 
de airs and graces. We 's been in a good family, 
I specs." 

"Yes," said Adolph; "I had a master that 
could have bought you all for old truck !" 

" LaAvs, now, only think," said Sambo, " the 
gentlemens that we is !" 

"I belonged to the St. Clare family," said 
Adolph, proudly. 

"Lor, you did! Be hanged if they ar'n't 
lucky to get shet of ye. Spects they 's gwine to 
trade ye off with a lot o' cracked tea-pots and 
sich like !" said Sambo, with a provoking grin. 

Adolph, enraged at this taunt, flew furiously 
at his adversary, swearing and striking on every 
side of him. The rest laughed and shouted, and 
the uproar brought the keeper to the door. 

' ' What now , boys ? Order, — order ! " he said, 
coming in and flourishing a large whip. 

All fled in different directions, except SamBo, 
who, presuming on the favor which the keeper 
had to him as a licensed wag, stood his ground, 
ducking his head with a facetious grin, whenever 
the master made a dive at him. 

"Lor, Mas'r, 'tan't us, — we 's reg'lar stiddy, 
— it 's these yer new hands ; they 's real aggrava- 
ting—kinder pickin' at us, all time !" 

The keeper, at this, turned upon Tom and 
Adolph, and distributing a few kicks and cuffs 
without much inquiry, and leaving general orders 
for all to be good boys and go to sleep, left the 
apartment. 

While this scene was going on in the men's 
sleeping-room, the reader may be curious to take 
a peep at the corresponding apartment allotted to 
the women. Stretched out in various attitudes 
over the floor, he may see numberless sleeping 
forms of every shade of complexion, from the 
purest ebony to wdiite, and of all years, from 
childhood to old age, lying now asleep. Here is 
a fine bright girl, of ten years, whose mother was 
sold out yesterday, and who to-night cried her- 
self to sleep when nobody was looking at her. 
Here, a worn old .negress, whose thin arms and 
callous fingers tell of hard toil, waiting to be sold 
to-morrow, as a cast-off article, for what can be 
got for her ; and some forty or fifty others, with 
heads variously enveloped in blankets or articles 
of clothing, lie stretched around them. But, in 
a corner, sitting apart from the rest, are two 
females of a more interesting appearance than 
common. One of these is a respec.tably-dressed 
mulatto woman between forty and fifty, with soft 
eyes and a gentle and pleasing physiognomy. 
She has on her head a high-raised turban, made 
of a gay red Madras handkerchief, of the first 
quality, and her dress is neatly fitted, and of 
good material, showing that she has been provided 
for with a careful hand. By her side, and nes- 
tling closely to her, is a young girl of fifteen, — 
her daughter. She is a quadroon, as may be seen 
from her fairer complexion, though her likeness 
to her mother is quite discernible. She has the 
same soft, dark eye, with longer lashes, and her 
curling hair is of a luxuriant brown. She also is 
dressed with great neatness, and her white deli- 
cate_ hands betray very little acquaintance with 
servile toil. These two are to be sold to-morrcw, 
in the same lot with the St. Clare servants ; and 



124 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN '. OR, 



the gentleman to whom they belong, and to whom 
the money for their sale is to be transmitted, is a 
member of a Christian church in New York, who 
will receive the money, and go thereafter to the 
sacrament of his Lord and theirs, and think no 
more of it. 

These two, whom we shall call Susan and Em- 
meline, had been the personal attendants of an 
amiable and pious lady of New Orleans, by whom 
they had been carefully and piously instructed 
and trained. They had been taught to read and 
write, diligently instructed in the truths of re- 
ligion, and their lot had been as happy an one as 
in their condition it was possible to be. But the 
only son of their protectress had the management 
of her property ; and, by carelessness and extrav- 
agance involved it to a large amount, and at last 
failed. One of the largest creditors was the re- 
spectable firm of B. & Co., in New York. B. & 
Co. wrote to their lawyer in New Orleans, who 
attached the real estate (these two articles and 
a lot of plantation hands formed the most valu- 
able part of it) , and wrote word to that effect to 
New York. Brother B., being, as we have said, 
a Christian man, and a resident in a free state, 
felt some uneasiness on the subject. He didn't 
like trading in slaves and souls of men, — of 
course, he didn't; but, then, there were thirty 
thousand dollars in the case, and that was rather 
too much money to be lost for a principle ; and 
so, after much considering, and asking .advice 
from those that he know would advise to suit 
him, Brother B. wrote to his lawyer to dispose 
of the business in the way that seemed to him 
the most suitable, and remit the proceeds. 

The day after the letter arrived in New Orleans, 
Susan and Emmeline were attached, and sent to 
the depot to await a general auction on the fol- 
lowing morning ; and as they glimmer faintly 
upon us in the moonlight which steals through 
the grated window, we may listen to their conver- 
sation. Both are weeping, but each quietly, that 
the other may not hear. 

"Mother, just lay your head on my lap, and 
see if you can't sleep a little," says the girl, try- 
ing to appear calm. 

"I haven't any heart to sleep, Em; I can't; 
it 's the last night we may be together !" 
- " 0, mother, don't say so ! Perhaps we shall 
get sold together, — who knows?" 

"If't was anybody's else case, I should say 
so, too, Em," said the woman; "but I'm so 
feard of losin' you that I don't see anything but 
the danger." 

" Why, mother, the man said we were both 
likely, and would sell well." 

Susan remembered the man's looks and words. 
With a deadly sickness at her heart, she remem- 
bered how he had looked at Emmeline 's hands, 
and lifted up her curly hair, and pronounced her 
a first-rate article. Susan had been trained as a 
Christian, brought up in the daily reading of the 
Bible, and had the same horror of her child's 
being sold to a life of shame that any other Chris- 
tian mother might have ; but she had no hope, — 
no protection. 

" Mother, I think we might do first rate, if you 
could get a place as cook, and I as chamber-maid 
or seamstress, in some family. I dare say we 
shall. Let 's both look as bright and lively as 
we can, and tell all we can do, and perhaps we 
shall, " said Emmeline. 



" I want you to brush your hair all back 
straight, to morrow," said Susan. 

" What for, mother? I don't look near sc 
well, that way." 

" Yes, but you '11 sell better so." 

" I don't see why !" said the child. 

"Respectable families would be more apt to 
buy you, if they saw you looked plain and decent, 
as if you wasn't tiding to look handsome. I 
know their ways better 'n you do," said Susan. 

" Well, mother, then I will." 

"And, Emmeline, if we shouldn't ever see 
each other again, after to-morrow, — if I 'm sold 
way up on a plantation somewhere, and you some- 
where else, — always remember how you 've been 
brought up, and all Missis has told you ; take 
your Bible with you, and your hymn-book ; and 
if you 're faithful to the Lord, he'll be faithful 
to you." 

So speaks the poor soul, in sore discourage- 
ment ; for she knows that to-morrow any man, 
however vile and brutal, however godless and 
merciless, if he only has money to pay for her, 
may become owner of her daughter, body and 
soul ; and then, how is the child to be faithful? 
She thinks of all this, as she holds her daughter 
in her arms , and wishes that she were not handsome 
and attractive. It seems almost an aggravation 
to her to remember how purely and piously, how 
much above the ordinary lot, she has been brought 
up. But she has no resort but to pray ; and many 
such prayers to God have gone up from those 
same trim, neatly-arranged, respectable slave- 
prisons, — prayers which God has not forgotten, 
as a coming day shall show ; for it is written, 
" Whoso causeth one of these little ones to 
offend, it were better for him that a mill-stone 
were hanged about his neck, and that he were 
drowned in the depths of the sea." 

The soft, earnest, quiet moonbeam looks in, fix- 
edly marking the bars of the grated windows on 
the prostrated, sleeping forms. The mother and 
daughter are singing together a wild and melan- 
choly dirge, common as a funeral hymn among 
the slaves : 

" 0, where is weeping Mary 1 
0, where is weeping Mary 1 

'Rived in the goodly land. 
She is dead and gone to heaven ; 
She is dead and gone to heaven ; 

'Rived in the goodly land." 

These words, sung by voices of a peculiar and 
melancholy sweetness, in an air which seemed 
like the sighing of earthly despair after heav- 
enly hope, floated through the dark prison room 
with a pathetic cadence, as verse after verse was 
breathed out : 

" 0, where are Paul and Silas 1 
0, where are Paul and Silas 1 

Gone to the goodly land. 
They are dead and gone to heaven; 
They are dead and gone to heaven ; 

'Rived in the goodly land." 

Sing on, poor souls ! The night is short, and 
the morning will part you forever ! 

But now it is morning, and everybody is astir ; 
and the worthy Mr. Skeggs is busy and bright, 
for a lot of goods is to be fitted out for auction. 
There is a brisk look-out on the toilet ; injunc- 
tions passed around to every one to put on their 
best face and be spry ; and now all are arranged 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



125 



in a circle for a last review, before they are 
marched up to the Bourse. 

Mr. Skeggs, with his palmetto on and his cigar 
in his mouth, walks around to put farewell touches 
an his wares. 

" How 's this ?" he said, stepping in front of 
Susan and Emmeline. " Where 's your curls, 
gai . ' 

The girl looked timidly at her mother, "who, 
with the smooth adroitness common among her 
class, answers, 

" I was telling her, last, night, to put up her 
hair smooth and neat, and not havin' it flying 
about in curls ; looks more respectable so." 

"Bother!" said the man, peremptorily, turn- 
ins: to the o-irl ; •' vou ero right along, and curl 
yourself real smart !" He added, giving a crack 
to a rattan lie held in his hand, " And be back in 
quick time, too !" 

" You go and help her," he added, to the 
mother. " Them curls may make a hundred dol- 
lars difference in the sale of her." 

###### 

Beneath a splendid dome were men of all na- 
tions, moving to and fro, over the marble pave. 
On every side of the circular area were little 
tribunes, or stations, for the use of speakers and 
auctioneers. Two of these, on opposite sides of 
the area:, were now occupied by brilliant and tal- 
ented gentlemen, enthusiastically forcing up, in 
English and French commingled, the bids of con- 
noisseurs in their various wares. A third one, 
On the other side, still unoccupied, was surrounded 
by a group, waiting the moment of sale to begin. 
And here we may recognize the St. Clare ser- 
vants, — Tom, Adolph, and others; and there, 
tpo, Susan and Emmeline, awaiting their turn 
with anxious and dejected faces. Various spec- 
tators, intending to purchase, or not intending, 
as the case might be, gathered around the group, 
handling, examining, and commenting on their 
various points and faces with the same freedom 
that a set of jockeys discuss the merits of a 
horse. 

" Hulloa, Alf ! what brings you here'?" said a 
young exquisite, slapping the shoulder of a 
Sprucely-dressed young man, who was examining 
Adolph through an eye-glass. 

" Well, I was wanting a valet, and I heard 
that St. Clare's lot was going. I thought I 'd 
just look at his — " 

" Catch me ever buying any of St. Clare's peo- 
ple ! Spoilt niggers, every one. Impudent as 
the devil !" said the other. 

" Never fear that !" said the first. " If I get 
'em, I '11 soon have their airs out of them ; they '11 
soon find that they 've another kind of master to 
deal with than Monsieur St. Clare. 'Pon my 
word, I '11 buy that fellow. I like the shape of 
him." 

" You '11 find it '11 take all you 've got to keep 
him. He 's deucedly extravagant ! " 

" Yes, but my lord will find that he can't be 
extravagant with me. Just let him be sent to 
the calaboose a few times, and thoroughly dressed 
down ! I '11 tell you if it don't bring him to a 
fianse of his ways ! 0, I '11 reform him, up hill 
and down, — you'll see. I buy him, that's 
flat!" 

Tom had been standing wistfully examining the 
multitude of faces thronging around him, for one 
whom he would wish to call master. And if 
you should ever be under the necessity, sir, of 



selecting, out of two hundred men, one who was 
to become your absolute owner and disposer, you 
would, perhaps, realize, just as Tom did, how 
few there were that you would feel at all com- 
fortable in being made over to. Tom saw abun- 
dance of men, — great, burly, gruff men ; little, 
chirping, dried men; long-favored, lank, hard 
men ; and every variety of stubbed-looking, com- 
monplace men, who pick up their fellow-men as 
one picks up chips, putting them into the fire or a 
basket with equal unconcern, according to their 
convenience ; but he saw no St. Clare. 

A little before the sale commenced, a short, 
broad, muscular man, in a checked shirt consid- 
erably open at the bosom, and pantaloons much 
the worse for dirt and wear, elbowed his way 
through the crowd, like one who is going actively 
into a business ; and, coming up to the group, 
began to examine them systematically. From 
the moment that Tom saw him approaching, he 
felt an immediate and revolting horror at him, 
that increased as he came near. He was evi- 
dently, though short, of gigantic strength. His 
round, bullet head, large, light-gray eyes, with 
their shaggy, sandy eye-brows, and stiff, wiry, sun- 
burned hair, were rather unprepossessing items, 
it is to be confessed ; his large, coarse mouth was 
distended with tobacco, the juice of which, from 
time to time, he ejected from him with great de- 
cision and explosive force ; his hands were im- 
mensely large, hairy, sun-burned, freckled, and 
very dirty, and garnished with long nails, in a 
very foul, condition. This man proceeded to a 
very free personal examination of the lot. He 
seized Tom by the jaw, and pulled open his mouth 
to inspect his teeth ; made him strip up his 
sleeve, to show his muscle ; turned him round, 
made him jump and spring, to show his paces. 

"Where was you raised?" he added, briefly, 
to these investigations. 

" In Kintuck, Mas'r," said Tom, looking about 
as if for deliverance. 

' ' What have you done ? ' ' 

" Had care of Mas'r's farm," said Tom. 

" Likely story !" said the other, shortly, as he 
passed on. He paused a moment before Dolph ; 
then spitting a discharge of tobacco-juice on his 
well-blacked boots, and giving a contemptuous 
Umph, he walked on. Again he stopped before 
Susan and Emmeline. He put out his heavy 
dirty hand, and drew the girl towards him , 
passed it over her neck and bust, felt her arms, 
looked at her teeth, and then pushed her back 
against her mother, whose patient face showed 
the suffering she had been going through at every 
motion of the hideous stranger. 

The girl was frightened, and began to cry. 

"Stop that, you minx!" said the salesman; 
"no whimpering here, — the sale is gang to 
begin." And accordingly the sale begun. 

Adolph was knocked off, at a good sum, to the 
young gentleman who had previously stated his 
intention of buying him ; and the other servants 
of the St. Clare lot went to various bidders. 

"Now, up with you, boy! d'ye hear?" said 
the auctioneer to Tom. 

Tom stepped upon the block, gave a few anx- 
ious looks round ; all seemed mingled in a com- 
mon, indistinct noise, — the clatter of the sales- 
man crying off his qualifications in French and 
English, the quick fire of French and English 
bids ; and almost in a moment came the final 
thump of the hammer, and the clear ring on 



126 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN I OR. 



the last syllable of the word "dollars," as the 
auctioneer announced his price, and Tom was 
made over. — He had a master ! 

He was pushed from the block; — the short, 
bullet-headed man, seizing him roughly by the 
shoulder, pushed him to one side, saying, in a 
harsh voice, " Stand there, you ! " 

Tom hardly realized anything ; but still the 
bidding went on, — rattling, clattering, now 
French, now English. Down goes the hammer 
again, — Susan is sold ! She goes down from the 
block, stops, looks wistfully back, — her daughter 
stretches her hands toward her. She looks with 
.agony in the face of the man who has bought 
her, — a respectable middle-aged man, of benev- 
olent countenance. 

" 0, Mas'r, please do buy my daughter !" 

" I 'd like to, but I > afraid I can't afford it !" 
said the gentleman, looking, with painful inter- 
est, as the young girl mounted the block, and 
looked around her with a frightened and timid 
glance. 

The blood flushes painfully in her otherwise 
colorless cheek, her eye has a feverish fire, and 
her mother groans to see that she looks more 
beautiful than she ever saw her before. The auc- 
tioneer sees his advantage, and expatiates volu- 
bly in mingled French and English, and bids rise 
in rapid succession. 

"I '11 do anything in reason," said the benev- 
olent-looking gentleman, pressing in and joining 
with the bids. In a few moments they have run 
beyond his purse. lie is silent; the auctioneer 
grows warmer ; but bids gradually drop off. It 
lies now between an aristocratic old citizen and 
our bullet-headed acquaintance. The citizen bids 
for a few turns, contemptuously measuring his 
opponent ; but the bullet-head has the advantage 
over him, both in obstinacy and concealed length 
of purse, and the controversy lasts but a moment ; 
the hammer falls, — he has got the girl, body 
and soul, unless God help her ! 

Her master is Mr. Legree, who owns a cotton 
plantation on the lied river. She is pushed along 
into the same lot with Tom and two other men, 
a,nd goes off, weeping as she goes. 

The benevolent gentleman is sorry ; but, then, 
the thing happens every day ! One sees girls 
and mothers crying, at these sales, always ! it can't 
be helped, &c. ; and he walks off, with his acqui- 
sition, in another direction. 

Two days after, the lawyer of the Christian 
firm of B. & Co., New York, sent on their money 
to them. On the reverse of that draft, so ob- 
tained, let them write these words of the great 
Paymaster, to whom they shall make up their 
account in a future day : ' ' When he makelh inqui- 
sition for blood, he forgetteth not the cry of the 
humble ! ' ' 



CHAPTER XXXL 

THE MIDDLE PASSAGE. 

M Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not 
look upon iniquity : wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal 
treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devour- 
eth the man that is more righteous than he ?" — Hab. 1 : 13. 

On the lower part of a small, mean boat, on 
the Red river, Tom sat, — chains on his wrists, 
chains on his feet, and a weight heavier than 
chains lay on his heart. All had faded from his 
sky, — moon and star ; all had passed by him, as 
the trees and banks were now passing, to return 



no more. Kentucky home, with wife and chil- 
dren, and indulgent owners ; St. Ciare home, 
with all its refinements and splendors ; the golden 
head of Eva, with its saint-like eyes ; the proud, 
gay, handsome, seemingly-careless, yet ever-kind 
St. Clare ; hours of ease and indulgent leisure, — 
all gone ! and in place thereof, what remains 1 

It is one of the bitterest apportionments of a 
lot of slavery, that the negro, sympathetic and 
assimilative, after acquiring, in a refined family, 
the tastes and feelings which form the atmos- 
phere of such a place, is not the less liable to 
become the bond-slave of the coarsest and most 
brutal, — just as a chair or table, which onco 
decorated the superb saloon, comes, at last, bat- 
tered and defaced, to the bar-room of some filthy 
tavern, or some low haunt of vulgar debauchery,. 
The great difference is, that the table and chair 
cannot feel, and the man can ; for even a legal 
enactment that he shall be " taken, reputed, 
adjudged in law, to be a chattel personal," 
cannot blot out his soul, with its own private 
little world of memories, hopes, loves, fears, and 
desires. 

Mr. Simon Legree, Tom's master, had pur- 
chased slaves at one place and another, in New 
Orleans, to the number of eight, and driven them, 
handcuffed, in couples of two and two, down to 
the good steamer Pirate, which lay at the levee, 
ready for a trip up the Red river. 

Having got them fairly on board, and the boat 
being off, he came round, with that air of efficiency 
which ever characterized him, to take a review 
of them. Stopping opposite to Tom, who had 
been attired for sale in his best broadcloth suit, 
with well-starched linen and shining boots, he 
briefly expressed himself as follows : 

"Stand up." 

Tom stood up. 

"Take off that stock!" and as Tom, encum 
bered by his fetters, proceeded to do it, he as- 
sisted him, by pulling it, with no gentle hand, 
from his neck, and putting it in his pocket. 

Legree now turned to Tom's trunk, which, pre- 
vious to this, he had been ransacking, and, tak- 
ing from it a pair of old pantaloons and a dilapi- 
dated coat, which Tom had been wont to put on 
about his stable-work, he said, liberating Tom'a 
hands from the handcuffs, and pointing to a recess 
in among the boxes, 

" You go there, and put these on." 

Tom obeyed, and in a few moments returned. 

" Take off your boots," said Mr. Legree. 

Tom did so. 

"There," said the former, throwing him a 
pair of coarse, stout shoes, such as were common 
among the slaves, " put these on." 

In Tom's hurried exchange, he had not forgot 
ten to transfer his cherished Bible to his pocket. 
It was well he did so ; for Mr. Legree, having 
refitted Tom's handcuffs, proceeded deliberately 
to investigate the contents of his pockets. He 
drew out a silk handkerchief, and put it into his 
own pocket. Several little trifles, which Tom 
had treasured chiefly because they had amused 
Eva, he looked upon with a contemptuous grunt, 
and tossed them over his shoulder into the river. 

Tom's Methodist hymn-book, which, in hia 
hurry, he had forgotten, he now held up and 
turned oyer. 

" Humph ! pious, to be sure. So, what 's your 
name, — you belong to the church, eh?" 

" Yes, Mas'r," said Tom, firmly. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



127 




?oon linvo that out of you. I have 
praying, singing niggers od 

mv place ; so "WWWihcr. Mow, mind yourself," 
idj with a stamp and a fierce glance of his 
gray eye, directed at Tom, "I'm your church 
now! You understand, — you've got to be as 1 
Eiv." 

S mething within the silent black man an- 
rwere(L, No! and, as if repeated by an invisible 
voice came the words of an old prophetic scroll, 
as Eva had often read them to him, — " Fear 
no* . f«r I have redeemed thee. I have called 
thee by my name. Thou art mine!" 

But Simon Legree heard no voice. That voice 
is one he never shall hear. lie only glared for a 
moment on the downcast face of Tom, and walked 
aft", lie took Tom's trunk, which contained a 
very neat and abundant wardrobe, to the fore- 
castle, where it was soon surrounded by various 
hands of the boat. With much laughing, at the 
expense of niggers who tried to be gentlemen, the 
articles very readily were sold to one and another, 
and the empty trunk finally put up at auction. 
It was a good joke, they all thought, especially 
to see how Tom looked after his things, as they 
were going this way and that ; and then the auc- 
tion of the trunk, that was funnier than all, and 
occasioned abundant witticisms. 

This little affair being over, Simon sauntered up 
again to his property. 

" Now, Tom, I 've relieved you of any extra 
baggage, you see. Take mighty good care of 
them clothes. It "11 be long enough "fore you get 
more. I go in for making niggers careful ; one 
suit has to do for one year, on my place." 

Simon next walked up to the place where Em- 
meline was sitting, chained to another woman. 

" Well, my dear," he said, chucking her under 
the chin, " keep up your spirits." 

The involuntary look of horror, fright and 
aversion, with which the girl regarded him, did 
not escape his eyes. He frowned fiercely. 

" None o' your shines, gal ! you ; s got to keep 
a pleasant face, when I speak to ye, — d'ye 
hear ? And you, you old yellow poco moon- 
shine !" he said, giving a shove to the mulatto 
woman to whom Emmeline was chained, " don't 
you carry that sort of face ! You 's got to look 
chipper, I tell ye !" 

" I say, all on ye," he said, retreating a pace 
or two back, " look at me, — look at me, — r- look 
me right in the eye, — straight, now !" said he, 
stamping his foot at every pause. 

As by a fascination, every eye was now di- 
rected to the glaring greenis'h-gray eye of Simon. 

" Now, " said he, doubling his great heavy 
fist into something resembling a blacksmith's 
hammer, ' d' ye see this fist ? Heft it !" he said, 
bringing it down on Tom's hand. " Look at 
these yer bones ! Well, I tell ye this yer fist has 
got as hard as iron knocking down niggers. I 
never see the nigger, yet, I could n't bring down 
with one crack," said he, bringing his fist down 
so near to the face of Tom ' that he winked, and 
drew back, " I don't keep none o' yer cussed 
overseers ; I does my own overseeing ; and I tell 
you things is seen to. You 's every one on ye 
got to toe the mark, I tell ye ; quick, — straight, 
— the moment I speak. That 's the way to keep 
in with me. Ye won't find no soft spot in me, 
nowhere. So, now, mind yerselves ; "for I don't 
sh ow no mercy ! ' ' 

The women involuntarily drew in their breath, 



and the whole gang sat with downcast, dejected 
faces. Meanwhile, Simon turned on his heel, 
and marched up to the bar of the boat for a dram. 

" That 's the way I begin with my niggers," 
he said, to a gentlemanly man, who had stood by 
him during his speech. " It 's my system to be- 
gin strong, — just let 'em know what to expect." 

"Indeed!" said the stranger, looking upon 
him with the curiosity of a naturalist studying 
some out-of-the-way specimen. 

11 Yes, indeed. I 'm none o' yer gentlemen 
planters, with lily fingers, to slop round and be 
cheated by some old cuss of an overseer ! Just 
feel of my knuckles, now ; look at my fist. Tell 
ye, sir, the flesh on 't has come jest like a stone, 
practising on niggers, — feel on it." 

The stranger applied his fingers to the imple- 
ment in question, and simply said, 

"'Tis hard enough; and, I suppose," he 
acjjled, " practice has made your heart just like 
it." 

11 Why, yes, I may say so," said Simon, with 
a hearty laugh. "I reckon there 's as little soft 
in me as in any one going. Tell you, nobody 
comes it over me ! Niggers never gets round me, 
neither with squalling nor soft soap, — that 's a 
fact." 

" You have a fine lot there." 

"Real," said Simon. "There's that Tom, 
they telled me he was suthin' uncommon. I paid 
a little high for him, 'tendin' him for a driver and 
a managing chap ; only get the notions out that 
he 's larnt by bein' treated as niggers never ought 
to be, he '11 do prime ! The yellow woman I got 
took in in. I rayther think she 's sickly, but I 
shall put her through for what she 's worth ; she 
may last a year or two. I don't go for savin' 
niggers. Use up, and buy more, 's my way ; — 
makes you less trouble, and I 'm quite sure it 
comes cheaper in the end ;" and Simon sipped his 
glass. 

" And how long do they generally last"?" said 
the stranger. 

" Well, donno ; 'cordin' as their constitution is. 
Stout fellers last six or seven years ; trashy ones 
gets worked up in two or three. I used to, when 
I fust begun, have considerable trouble fussin' with 
'em and trying to make 'em hold out, — doctorin' 
on 'em up when they 's sick, and givin' on 'em 
clothes and blankets, and what not, tryin' to keep 
'em all sort o' decent and comfortable. Law, 
't was n't no sort o' use ; I lost money on 'em, 
and 'twas heaps o' trouble. Now, you see, I 
just put 'em straight through, sick or well. When 
one nigger's dead, I buy another ; and I find it 
comes cheaper and easier, every way." 

The stranger turned away, and seated himself 
beside a gentleman, who had been listening to 
the conversation with repressed uneasiness. 

"You must not take that fellow to be any 
specimen of Southern planters," said he. 
' " I should hope not," said the young gentleman, 
with emphasis. 

" He is a mean, low, brutal fellow !" said tne 
other. 

" And yet your laws allow him to hold any 
number of human beings subject to his absolute 
will, without even a shadow of protection ; and, 
low as he is, you cannot say that there are not 
many such." 

" Well," said the other, " there are also many 
considerate and humane men among planters." 

" Granted," said the young man ; " but in my 



128 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN I OR, 



opinion, it is you considerate, humane men, that 
are responsible for all the brutality and outrage 
wrought by these wretches ; because, if it were 
not for your sanction and influence, the whole 
S3 T stem could not keep foot-hold for an hour. If 
there were no planters except such as that one," 
said he, pointing with his finger to Legree, who 
stood with his back to them, " the whole thing 
would go down like a mill-stone. It is your 
respectability and humanity that licenses and 
protects his brutality." 

"You certainly have a high opinion of my good 
nature," said the planter, smiling; "but I ad- 
vise you not to talk quite so loud, as there are 
people on board the boat who might not be quite 
so tolerant to opinion as I am. You had better 
wait till I get up to my plantation, and there you 
may abuse us all, quite at your leisure." 

The young gentleman colored and smiled, and 
the two were soon busy in a game of backgam- 
mon. Meanwhile, another conversation was going 
on in the lower part of the boat, between Emme- 
line and the mulatto woman with whom she was 
confined. As was natural, they were exchanging 
with each other some particulars of their history. 
" Who did you belong to?" said Emmeline. 
"Well, my. Mas 'r was Mr. Ellis, — lived on 
Levee-street. P'raps you 've seen the house." 
" Was he good to you?" said Emmeline. 
" Mostly, till he tuk sick. He 's lain sick, off 
and on, more than six months, and been orful 
oneasy. 'Pears like he warn't willin' to have no- 
body rest, day nor night; and got so curous, 
there couldn't nobody suit him. 'Pears like he 
just grew crosser, every day ; kep me up nights 
till I got fhrly beat out, and could n't keep awake 
no longer ; and cause I got to sleep, one night, 
Lors, he talk so orful to me, and he tell me he 'd 
sell me to just the hardest master he could find ; 
and he 'd promised me my freedom, too, when he 
died." 

" Had you any friends ?" said Emmeline. 
"Yes, my husband, — he's a blacksmith. 
Mas'r gen'ly hired him out. They took me off 
so quick, I didn't even have time to see him; 
and I 's got- four children. 0, dear me!" said 
the woman, covering her face with her hands. 

It is a natural impulse, in every one, when 
they hear a tale of distress, to think of something 
to say by way of consolation. Emmeline wanted 
to say something, but she could not think of any- 
thing to say. What was there to be said ? As 
by a common consent, they both avoided, with 
fear and dread, all mention of the horrible man 
who was now they- master. 

True, there is religious trust for even the dark- 
est hour. The mulatto woman was a member of 
the Methodist church, and had an unenlightened 
but very sincere spirit of piety. Emmeline had 
been educated much more intelligently, — taught 
to read and write , and diligently instructed in the 
Bible, by the care of a faithful and pious mis- 
tress ; yet, would it not try the faith of the 
firmest Christian, to find themselves abandoned, 
apparently, of God, in the grasp of ruthless 
violence 1 How much more must it shake the 
faith of Christ's poor little ones, weak In knowl- 
edge and tender in years ! 

The boat moved on, — freighted with its weight 
of sorrow, — up the red, muddy, turbid current, 
through the abrupt, tortuous windings of the Red 
river ; and sad eyes gazed wearily on the steep 
red-clay banks, as they glided by in dreary same- 



ness. At last the boat stopped at a small town,, 
and Legree, with his party, disembarked. 



CHAPTER XXXII. 



DARK PLACES. 



" The dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty." 

Trailing wearily behind a rude, wagon, and 
over a ruder road, Tom and his associates faced 
onward. 

In the wagon was seated Simon Legree ; and 
the two women, still fettered together, were 
stowed away with some baggage in the back part 
of it, and the whole company were seeking Le- 
gree's plantation, which lay a good distance off. 

It was a wild, forsaken road, now winding 
through dreary pine barrens, where the wind 
whispered mournfully, and now over log cause- 
ways, through long cypress swamps, the doleful 
trees rising out of the slimy, spongy ground, hung 
with long wreaths of funereal black moss, while 
ever and anon the loathsome form of the moccasin 
snake might be seen sliding among broken stumps 
and shattered branches that lay here and there, 
rotting in the water. 

It is disconsolate enough, this riding, to the 
stranger, who, with well-filled pocket and well- 
appointed horse, threads the lonely way on some 
errand of business ; but wilder, drearier, to the 
man enthralled, whom every weary step bears 
further from all that man loves and prays for. 

So one should have thought, that witnessed the 
sunken and dejected expression on those dark 
faces ; the wistful, patient weariness with which 
those sad eyes rested on object after object that 
passed them in their sad journey. 

Simon rode on, however, apparently well 
pleased, occasionally pulling away at a flask of 
spirit, which he kept in his pocket. 

" I say, you ! " he said, as he turned back and 
caught a glance at the dispirited faces behind 
him. " Strike up a song, boys, — come !" 

The men looked at each other, and the " come" 
was repeated, with a smart crack of the whip, 
which the driver carried in his hands. Tom be- 
gan a Methodist hymn, 

" Jerusalem, my happy home, 
Name ever dear to me ! 
"When shall my sorrows have an end, 
Thy joys when shall — " 

"Shut up, you black cuss!" roared Legree; 
" did ye think I wanted any o' yer infernal old 
Methodism? I say, tune up, now, something 
real rowdy, — quick !" 

One of the other men struck up one of those 
unmeaning songs, common among the slaves. 

** Mas'r see'd me cotch a coon, 

High, boys, high ! 
He laughed to split, — d' ye see the moon, 

Ho! ho! ho! boys, ho! 
Ho! yo! hi — e! oh !" 

The singer appeared to make up the song to 
his own pleasure, generally hitting on rhyme, 
without much attempt at reason ; and all the 
party took up the chorus, at intervals, 

*'Ho! ho! ho! boys, ho! 

High — e — oh! high — e — oh!'* 

It was sung very boisterously, and with a 
forced attempt at merriment ; but no wail of 
despair, no words of impassioned prayer, could 



LTFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



129 



have had such a depth of woe in them as the 
wild note* oi' the chorus. As if the poor, dumb 
heart, threatened, — prisoned, — took refuse in 
that inarticulate sanctuary of music, and found I 
there a Language in which to breathe its prayer 
to God! There was a prayer in it which Simon 
could not hear. lie only heard the boys singing 
noisily, and was well pleased; he was making 
them " keep up their spirits." 

11 Well, my little dear/' said he, turning to 
Emmeline, and laying his hand on her shoulder, 
" we 're almost home I' 1 

When Legree scolded and stormed, Emmeline 
was terrified ; hut when he laid his hand on her, 
and spoke as he now did, she felt as if she had 
rather he would strike her. The expression of his 
eyes made her soul sick, and her flesh creep. Invol- 
untarily she clung closer to the mulatto woman 
by her side, as if she were her mother. 

"You didn't ever wear ear-rings," he said, 
taking hold of her small ear with his coarse fin- 
gers. 

" No, Mas'r!" said Emmeline, trembling and 
looking down. 

"Well, I'll give you a pair, when we get 
home, if you 're a good girl. You need n't be so 
frightened ; I don't mean to make you work very 
hard. You '11 have fine times with me, and live 
like a lady, — only be a good girl." 

Legree had been drinking to that degree that he 
was inclining to be very gracious ; and it was 
about this time that the enclosures of the planta- 
tion rose to view. The estate had formerly be- 
longed to a gentleman of opulence and taste, who 
had bestowed some considerable attention to the 
adornment of his grounds. Having died insol- 
vent, it had been purchased, at a bargain, by 
Legree, who used it, as he did everything els'c, 
merely as an implement for money-making. The 
place had that ragged, forlorn appearance, which 
is always produced by the evidence that the care 
of the former owner ha3 been left to go to utter 
decay. 

What was once a smooth-shaven lawn before 
the house, dotted here and there with. ornamental 
shrubs, was now covered with frowsy tangled 
grass, with horse-posts §et up, "here and there, in 
it, where the turf was stamped away, and the 
ground littered with brokel* pails, cobs of corn, 
and other slovenly remains. Here and there, a 
mildewed jessamine or honej'suckle hung raggedly 
from some ornamental support, which had been 
pushed to one side by being used as a horse-post. 
What once was a large garden was now all grown 
over with weeds, through which, here and there, 
some solitary exotic reared its forsaken head. What 
had been a conservatory had now no window-sashes, 
and on the mouldering shelves stood some dry, 
forsaken flower-pots, with sticks in them, whose 
dried leaves showed they had once been plants. 

The wagon rolled up a weedy gravel walk, 
under a noble avenue of China trees, whose grace- 
ful forms and ever-springing foliage seemed to be 
the only things there that neglect could not daunt 
or alter, — like noble spirits, so deeply rooted in 
goodness as to flourish and grow stronger amid 
discouragement and decay. 

The house had been large and handsome. It 
was built in a manner common at the South ; a 
wide veranda of two stories running round every 
part of the house, into which every outer door 
opened, the lower tier being supported by brick 
nillars. 

9 



I3ut the place looked desolate and uncomfort- 
able ; some windows stopped up with boards, some 
with shattered panes, and shutters hanging by a 
single hinge, — all telling of coarse neglect and 
discomfort. 

Bits of board, straw, old decayed barrels and 
boxes, garnished the ground in all directions ; and 
three or four ferocious-looking dogs, roused by the 
sound of the wagon-wheels, came tearing out, and 
were with difficulty restrained from laying hold 
of Tom and his companions, by the effort of the 
ragged servants who came after them. 

" Ye see what ye 'd get !" said Legree, caress- 
ing the dogs with grim satisfaction, and turning 
to Tom and his companions. " Ye see what ye 'd 
get, if ye try to run off. These yer dogs has been 
raised to track niggers ; and they 'd jest as soon 
chaw one on ye up as eat their supper. So, mind 
yerself ! How now, Sambo !" he said, to a ragged 
fellow, without any brim to his hat, who was offi- 
cious in hisattentions. "How have things been 



coins 



?" 



" Fust rate, Mas'r." 

" Qui m bo," said Legree to another, who was 
making zealous demonstrations to attract his at- 
tention, " ye minded what I telled ye ?" 

"Guess I did, didn't I?" 

These two colored men were the two principal 
hands on the plantation. Legree had trained them 
in savageness and brutality as systematically as he 
had his bull-dogs ; and, by long practice in hard- 
ness and cruelty, brought their whole nature to 
about the same range of capacities. It is a com- 
mon remark, and one that is thought to militate 
strongly against the character of tne race, that 
the negro overseer is always more tyrannical and 
cruel than the white one. This is simply saying 
that the negro mind has been more crushed and 
debased than the white. It is no more true of 
this race than of every oppressed race, the world 
over. • The slave is always a tyrant, if he can get 
a chance to.be one. 

Legree, like some potentates we read of in his- 
tory, governed his plantation by a sort of resolu- 
tion of forces. Sambo and Quimbo cordially hated 
each other ; the plantation hands, one and all, 
cordially hated them ; and, by playing off one 
against another, he was pretty sure, through one 
or the other of the three parties, to get informed 
of whatever was on foot in the place. 

Nobody can live entirely without social inter- 
course ; and Legree encouraged his two black 
satellites to a kind of coarse familiarity with him; 
— a familiarity, however, at any moment liable to 
get one or the other of them into trouble ; for, on 
the slightest provocation, one of them always 
stood ready, at a nod, to be a minister of his ven- 
geance on the other. 

As they stood there now by Legree, they seemed 
an apt illustration of the fact that brutal men are 
lower even than animals. Their coarse,' dark, 
heavy features ; their great eyes, rolling enviously 
on each other ; their barbarous, guttural, half- 
brute intonation ; their dilapidated garments flut- 
terino- in the wind, — were all in admirable keeping 
with the vile and unwholesome character of every- 
thing about the place. 

" Here, you Sambo," said Legree, " take these 
yer boys down to the quarters ; and here 's a gal 
I've got for you," said he, as he separated the 
mulatto woman from Emmeline, and pushed her 
towards him ; — "I promised to bring you one. 
you know." 



130 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN I OR, 



The woman pave a sadden start, and, drawing 
back, said, suddenly, 

" O, Mas'r ! I left my old man in New Or- 
leans." 

" What of that, you ; won't you want one 

here? None o' your words, — go long!" said 
Legree, raising his whip. 

" Come,«mistress," he said to Emmeline, " you 
go in here with me." 

A dark, wild face was seen, for a moment, to 
glance at the window of the house ; and, as Legree 
opened the door, a female voice said something in 
a quick, imperative tone. Tom, who was looking 
with anxious interest after Emmeline, as she went 
in, noticed this, and heard Legree answer, angrily, 
" You may hold your tongue ! I '11 do as I please, 
for all you !" 

Tom heard no more ; for he was soon following 
Sambo to the quarters. The quarters was a little 
sort of street of rude shanties, in a row, in a part 
of the plantation far off from the house. They 
had a forlorn, brutal, forsaken air. Tom's heart 
sunk when he saw them. He had been comforting 
himself with the thought of a cottage, rude, in- 
deed, but one which he might make neat and 
quiet, and where he might have a shelf for his 
Bible, and a place to be alone out of his laboring 
hours. He looked into several ; they were mere 
rude shells, destitute of any species of furniture, 
except a heap of straw, foul with dirt, spread 
confusedly over the floor, which was merely the 
bare ground, trodden hard by the tramping of 
innumerable feet. 

" Which • of these will be mine?" said he, to 
Sambo, submissively. 

" Dunno ; ken turn in here, I 'spose," "said 
Sambo; " spects thar 's room for another thai* ; 
thar 's a pretty smart heap o' niggers to each on 
'em, now; sure, I dunno what I 's to do with 

more." 

# # * * * 

It was late in the evening when the weary 
occupants of the shanties came flocking home, — 
men and women, in soiled and tattered garments, 
surly and uncomfortable, and in no mood to4ook 
pleasantly on new-comers. The small village 
was alive with no inviting sounds ; hoarse, gut- 
tural voices contending at the hand-mills where 
their morsel of hard corn was yet to be ground 
into meal, to fit it for the cake that was to con- 
stitute their only supper. From the earliest 
dawn of the day, they had been in the fields, 
pressed to work under the driving lash of the 
overseers ; for it was now in the very heat and 
hurry of the season, and no means was left un- 
tried to press every one up to the top of their 
capabilities. "True," says the negligent lounger ; 
"picking cotton isn't hard work." Isn't it? 
And it is n't much inconvenience, either, to have 
one drop of water fall on your head ; yet the 
worst torture of the inquisition is produced by 
drop after drop, drop after drop, falling moment 
after moment, with monotonous succession, on 
the same spot ; and wgrk, in itself not hard, 
becomes so, by being pressed, hour after hour, 
with unvarying, unrelenting sameness, with not 
even the consciousness of free-will to take from its 
tediousness. Tom looked in vain among the gang, 
as they poured along, for companionable faces. 
He saw only sullen, scowling, imbruted men, and 
feeble, discouraged women, or women that were 
not women, — the strong pushing away the weak, 
— the gross, unrestricted animal selfishness of' 



human beings, of whom nothing good was ex- 
pected and desired ; and who, treated in every 
way like brutes, had sunk as nenrly to their level 
as it was possible for human being's to do. To a 
late hour in tha night the sound of the grinding 
was protracted ; for the mills were few in number 
compared with the grinders, and the weary and 
feeble ones were driven back by the^ strong, and 
came on last in their turn. 

" Ho yo !" said Sambo, coming to the mulatto 
woman, and throwing down a bag of corn before 
her ; " what a cuss yo name ?" 

" Lucy," said the woman. 

" Wal, Lucy, yo my woman now. Yo grind 
dis yer corn, and get my supper baked, ye 
har?" 

"I an't your woman, and I won't be !" said 
the woman, with a sharp, sudden courage of 
despair : " you go long !" 

" I '11 kick 3-0, then !" said Sambo, raising his 
foot threateningly. 

"Ye may kill me, if ye choose, — the sooner 
the better ! Wish't I was dead !" said she. 

" I say, Sambo, you go to spilin' the hands,, 
I'll tell Mas'r o' you," said Quimbo who was 
busy at the mill, from which ho had viciously 
driven two or three tired women, who were wait- 
ing to grind their Corn. 

" And I '11 tell him ye won't let the women 
come to the mills, yo old nigger !" said Sambo. 
" Yo jes keep to yo own row." 

Tom was hungry with his day's journey, and 
almost faint for want of food. 

"Thar, yo!" said Quimbo, throwing down a 
coarse bag, which contained a peck of corn ; 
" thar, nigger, grab, take car on 't, — you won't 
get no more, dis yer week." 

Tom waited till a late hour, to get a place at 
the mills ; and then, moved by the utter weariness 
of two women, whom he saw trying to grind their 
corn there, he ground for them, put together the 
decaying brands of the fire, where many had 
baked cake3 before them, and then went abouis 
getting his own supper. It was a new kind of 
work there, — a deed of charity, small as it was ; 
but it woke an answering touch in their hearts, 
— an expression of womanly kindness came over 
their hard faces ; they mixed his cake for him, 
and tended its baking; and Tom sat down by tho 
light of the fire, and drew out his Bible, — for he 
had need of comfort. I 

" What 's that?" said one of the women. 

"A Bible," said Tom. 

" Good Lord ! han't seen un since I was in 
Kentuck." 

"Was you raised in Kentuck?" said Tom, 
with interest. 

" Yes, and >vell raised, too ; never 'spected to 
come to dis yer!" said the woman, sighing., 

"What's dat ar book, any way?" said the 
other woman. 

"Why, the Bible." 

" Laws a me ! what 's dat?" said the woman. 

"Do tell! you never hearn on't?" said the 
other woman. " I used to har Missis a readin' 
on U, sometimes, in Kentuck ; but, laws o' me ! 
we don't har nothin' here but crackin' and 
swarin'." 

"Read a piece, anyways?" said the first 
woman, curiously, seeing Tom attentively poring 
over it. 

Tom read, — " Come unto Mb, all ye that labor 
and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



131 



•Them's good words, enough," said the 
woman ; " who Bays 'em ?" 

••The Lord," Baid Tom. 

•• I jest wish I know'd whar to find Him." said 
the woman. fi I would go ; 'pears like 1 never 
should get rested agin. My flesh is fairly sore, 
and T tremble all over, every day, and Sambo 's 
all^rs a iawin' at me, 'cause I does n't pick faster ; 
and nights it 's most midnight 'fore I can get my 
supper : and den 'pears like I don't turn over 
and shut my eyes, 'fore I hear de horn blow to 
get up, and at it agin in de mornin'. If I knew 
whar de Lor was, I 'd tell him." 

" He "s here, lie 's everywhere," said Tom. 

" Lor, you an't gwine to make me believe dat 
ar ! I know de Lord an't here," said the woman ; 
u 'tan't no use talking, though. I 's jest gwine 
to camp down, and sleep while I ken." 

The women went off to their cabins, and Tom 
sat alone, by the smouldering fire, that flickered 
up redly in his face. 

The silver, fair-browed moon rose in the purple 
sky, and looked down, calm and silent, as God 
looks on the scene of misery and oppression, — 
looked calmly on the lone black man, as he sat, 
with his arms folded, and his Bible on his 
knee. 

"Is God here?" Ah, how is it possible for 
the untaught heart to keep its faith, unswerving, 
in the face of dire misrule, and palpable, unre- 
buked injustice 1 In that simple heart waged a 
fierce conflict : the crushing sense of wrong, the 
foreshadowing of a whole life of future misery, 
the wreck of all past hopes, mournfully tossing in 
the soul's sight, like dead corpses of wife, and 
child, and friend, rising from the dark wave, and 
surging in the face of the half-drowned mariner ! 
Ah, was it easy here to believe and hold fast the 
great pass-word of Christian faith, that " God is, 
and is the rewarder of them that diligently seek 
Him"? 

Tom rose, disconsolate, and stumbled into the 
cabin that had been allotted to him. The floor 
was already strewn with weary sleepers, and the 
foul air of the place almost repelled him ; but 
the heavy night-dews were chill, and his limbs 
weary, and, wrapping about him a tattered 
blanket, which formed his only bed-clothing, 
he stretched himself in the straw and fell 
asleep. 

In dreams, a gentle voice came over his ear ; 
he was sitting on the mossy seat in the garden by 
Lake Pontchartrain, and Eva, with her serious 
eyes bent downward, was reading to him from 
the Bible ; and he heard Her read, 

" When thou passest through the waters, I 
will be with thee, and the rivers they shall not 
overflow thee ; when thou walkest through the 
fire, thou shait not be burned, neither shall the 
flame kindle upon thee ; for I am the Lord thy 
God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour." 

Gradually the words seemed to melt and fade, 
as in a divine music ; the child raised her deep 
eyes, and fixed them lovingly on him, and rays of 
warmth and comfort seemed to go from them to 
his heart ; and, as if wafted on the music, she 
seemed to rise on shining wings, from which 
flakes and spangles of gold fell off like stars, and 
she was gone. 

Tom woke. Was it a dream ? Let it pass for 
one. But who shall say that that sweet young 
spirit, which in life so yearned to comfort and 



console the distressed, was forbidden of God to 
assume this ministry after death? 

It* is a beautiful belief, 

That ever round our head 
Are hovering, on angel wings, 

The spirits of the dead. 



CHAPTER XXXni. 

CASSY. 

" And behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had 
no comforter ; and on the side of their oppressors there wa* 
power, but they had no comforter." — Eccl. 4 : 1. 

It took but a short time to familiarize Tom 
with all that was to be hoped or feared in his 
new way of life. He was an expert and efficient 
workman in whatever he undertook ; and was, 
both from habit and principle, prompt and faith- 
ful. Quiet and peaceable in his disposition, he 
hoped, by unremitting diligence, to avert from 
himself at least a portion of the evils of his con- 
dition. He saw enough of abuse and misery to 
make him sick and weary ; but he determined to 
toil on, with religious patience, committing him- 
self to Him that judgeth righteously, not without 
hope that some way of escape might yet be 
opened to him. 

Legree took silent note of Tom's availability, 
He rated him as a first-class hand ; and yet he 
felt a secret dislike to him, — the native antipa- 
thy of bad to good. He saw, plainly, that when, 
as was often the case, his violence and brutality 
fell on the helpless, Tom took notice of it ; for, so 
subtle is the atmosphere of opinion, that it will 
make itself felt, without words ; and the opinion 
even of a slave may annoy a master. Tom in 
various ways manifested a tenderness of feeling, 
a commiseration for his fellow-sufferers, strange 
and new to them, which was watched with a 
jealous eye by Legree. He had purchased Tom 
with a view of eventually making him a sort of 
overseer, with whom he might, at times, intrust 
his affairs, in short absences ; and, in his view, 
the first, second, and third requisite for thai 
place, was hardness. Legree made up his mind, 
that, as Tom was not hard to his hand, he would 
harden him forthwith ; and some few weeks aftei 
Tom had been on the place, he determined to 
commence the process. 

One morning, when the hands were mustered 
for the field, Tom noticed, with surprise, a new 
comer among them, whose appearance excited his 
attention. It was a woman, tall and slenderly 
formed, with remarkably delicate hands and feet, 
and dressed in neat and respectable garments. 
By the appearance of her face, she might have 
been between thirty-five and forty ; and it was a 
face that, once seen, could never be forgotten, — 
one of those that, at a glance, seem to convey to 
us' an idea of a wild, painful, and romantic his- 
tory. Her forehead was high, and her eyebrows 
marked with beautiful clearness. Her straight, 
well-formed nose, her finely-cut mouth, and the 
graceful contour of her head and neck, showed 
that she must once have been beautiful ; but her 
face was deeply wrinkled with lines of pain, and 
of proud and bitter endurance. Her complexion 
was sallow and unhealthy, her cheeks thin, hei 
features sharp, and her whole form emaciated* 
But her eye was the most remarkable feature, — 



132 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR, 



so large, so heavily black, overshadowed by long 
lashes of equal darkness, and so wildly, mourn- 
fully despairing. There was a fierce pride and 
defiance in every line of her face, in every curve 
of the flexible lip, in every motion of her body ; 
but in her eye was a deep, settled night of an- 
guish, — an expression so hopeless and unchang- 
ing as to contrast fearfully with the scorn and 
pride expressed by her whole demeanor. 

Where she came from, or who she was, Tom 
did not know. The first he did know, she was 
walking by his side, erect and proud, in the dim 
gray of the dawn. To the gang, however, she 
was known ; for there was much looking and 
turning of heads, and a smothered yet apparent 
exultation among the miserable, ragged, half- 
starved creatures by whom she was surrounded. 

" Got to come to it, at last, — grad of it !" said 
one 

" He ! he ! he !" said another ; " you '11 know 
how good it is, Misse !" 

" We .Jll see her work !" 

" Wonder if she'll get a cutting up, at night, 
like the rest of us?" 

"I'd be glad to see her down for a flogging, 
I '11 be bound !" said another. 

The woman took no notice of these taunts, but 
walked on, with the same expression of angry 
scorn, as if she heard nothing. Tom had always 
lived among refined and cultivated people, and he 
felt intuitively, from her air and bearing, that 
she belonged to that class ; but how or why she 
could be fallen to those degrading circumstances, 
he could not tell. The woman neither looked at 
him nor spoke to him, though, all the way to the 
field, she kept close at his side. 

Tom was soon busy at his work ; but, as the 
woman was at no great distance from him, he 
often glanced an eye to her, at her work. He 
saw, at a glance, that a native adroitness and 
handiness made the task to her an easier one 
than it proved to many. She picked very fast 
and very clean, and with an air of scorn, as if she 
despised both the work and the disgrace and 
humiliation of the circumstances in which she 
was placed. 

In the course of the day, Tom was working 
near the mulatto woman who had been bought in 
the same lot with himself. She was evidently in 
a condition of great suffering, and Tom often 
heard her praying, as she wavered and trembled, 
and seemed about to fall down. Tom silently, as 
he came near to her, transferred several handfuls 
of cotton from his own sack to hers. 

" 0, don't, don't!" said the woman, looking 
surprised ; " it '11 get you into trouble." 

Just then Sambo came up. He seemed to have 
a special spite against this woman ; and, flour- 
ishing his whip, said, in brutal, guttural tones, 
"What dis yer, Luce, — foolin' a'?" and, with 
the word, kicking the woman with his heavy cow- 
hide shoe, he struck Tom across the face with his 
whip. 

Tom silently resumed his task ; but the woman, 
before at the last point of exhaustion, fainted. 

"I'll bring her to!" said the driver, with a 
brutal grin. "I'll give her something better 
than camphire !" and, taking a pin from his coat- 
sleeve, he buried it to the head in her flesh. The 
woman groaned, and half rose. "Get up, you 
beast, and work, will yer, or I '11 show yer a trick 
more." 

The woman seemed stimulated; for a few mo- 



ments, to an unnatural strength, and worked with 
desperate eagerness. 

" See that you keep to dat ar," said the man, 
" or yer '11 wish yer 's dead to-night, I rekin !" 

"That I do now!" Tom heard her say; and 
again he heard her say, "0, Lord, how long! 
0, Lord, why don't you help us?" 

At the risk of all that he might suffer, Tom 
came forward again, and put all the cotton in his 
sack into the woman's. 

"0, you mustn't ! you donno what they '11 do 
to ye !" said the woman. 

"I can bar it!" said Tom, " better 'n you;" 
and he was at his place again. It passed in a 
moment. 

Suddenly, the stranger woman whom we hava 
described, and who had, in the course of her 
work, come near enough to hear Tom's last words, 
raised her heavy black eyes, and fixed them, for a 
second, on him ; then, taking a quantity of cotton 
from her basket, she placed it in his. 

"You know nothing about this place," she 
said, " or you wouldn't have done that. When 
you 've been here a month, you '11 be done help- 
ing anybody ; you '11 find it hard to take care of 
your own skin !" 

"The Lord forbid, Missis!" said Tom, using 
instinctively to his field companion the respectful 
form proper to the high-bred with whom he had 
lived. 

" The Lord never visits these parts," said the 
woman, bitterly, as she went nimbly forward 
with her work ; and again the scornful smile 
curled her lips. 

But the action of the woman had been seen by 
the driver, across the field ; and, flourishing his 
whip, he came up to her. 

" What! what!" he said to the woman, with 
an air of triumph, "you a foolin''? Go along! 
yer under me now, — mind yerself, or yer '11 
cotch it!" 

A glance like sheet-lightning suddenly flashed 
from those black eyes; and, facing about, with 
quivering lip and dilated nostrils, she drew he*- 
self up, and fixed a glance, blazing with rage and 
scorn, on the driver. 

"Dog!" she said, "touch me, if you dare! 
I 've power enough, yet, to have you torn by the 
dogs, burnt alive, cut to inches ! I 've only to say 
the word ! ' ' 

" What de devil you here for, den?" said the 
man, evidently cowed, and sullenly retreating a 
step or two. "Didn't mean no harm, Misse 
Cassy!" 

" Keep your distance, then !" said the woman. 
And, in truth, the man seemed greatly inclined to 
attend to something at the other end of the field, 
and started off in quick time. 

The woman suddenly turned to her work, and 
labored with a despatch that was perfectly aston- 
ishing to Tom. She seemed to work by magic. 
Before the day was through, her basket was filled, 
crowded down, and piled, and she had several 
times put largely into Tom's. Long after dusk, 
the whole weary train, with their baskets on their 
heads, defiled up to the building appropriated to 
the storing and weighing the cotton. Legree was 
there, busily conversing with the two drivers. 

' ' Dat ar Tom 's gvvine to make a powerful deal o' 
trouble ; kept a puttin' into Lucy's basket. — One 
o' these yer dat will get all der niggers to feelin' 
'bused, if Mas'r don't watch him !" said Sambo. 

"Hcy-dey! The black cuss!" said Legree. 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



133 



11 He '11 have to get a breaking in, won't he, 
boys ? " 

Both negroes grinned a horrid grin, at this in- 
timation. 
11 Ay, ay ! let Mas'r Legree alone, for breakin' 

in! V heself couldn't beat Mas'r at 

dat !" said Qoimbo. 

"Wal, boys, the best way is to give him the 
Soeeine to do, till he <rets over his notions. Break 
him IB !" 

" Lord, Mas'r '11 have hard work to get dat out 
o' him!" 

"It'll have to come out of him, though!" 
said Legree, as he rolled his tobacco in his 
mouth. 

"Now, dar 's Lucy, — the aggravatinist, ugli- 
est wench on dc place !" pursued Sambo. 

"Take care, Sam; I shall begin to think 
what 's the reason for your spite agin Lucy." 

" Well, Mas'r knows she 's sot herself up agin 
Mas'r, and would n't have me, when he tolled her 
to." 

"I'da flogged her into 't," said Legree, spit- 
ting, " only there 's such a press o' work, it 
don't seem wuth a while to upset her jist now. 
She 's slender ; but these yer slender gals will 
bear half killin' to get their own way !" 

"Wal, Lucy was real aggravatin' and lazy, 
sulkin' round ; would n't do nothin', — and Tom 
he tuck up for her." 

" He did, eh ! Wal, then, Tom shall have the 
pleasure of flogging her. It "11 be a good prac- 
tice for him, and he won't put it on to the gal 
like you devils, neither." 

"Ho, ho! haw! haw! haw!" laughed both 
the sooty wretches ; and the diabolical sounds 
seemed, in truth, a not unapt expression of the 
fiendish character which Legree gave them. 

" Wal, but, Mas'r, Tom and Misse Cassy, and 
dey among 'em, filled Lucy's basket. I ruther 
guess der weight's in it, Mas'r!" 

" I do the weighing!" said Legree, emphati- 
cally. 

Both the drivers again laughed their diabolical 
laugh. 

" So !" he added, " Misse Cassy did her day's 
work." 

" She picks like de debil and all his angels !" 

"She's got 'em all in her, I believe!" said 
Legree ; and, growling a brutal oath, he pro- 
ceeded to the weighing-room. 

jfc ^ w w t* 

Slowly the weary, dispirited creatures wound 
their way into the room, and, with crouching re- 
luctance, presented their baskets to be weighed. 

Legree noted on a slate, on the side of which 
was pasted a list of names, the amount. 

Tom's basket Avas weighed and approved ; and 
he looked, with an anxious glance, for the success 
of the woman he had befriended. 

Tottering with weakness, she came forward, 
and delivered her basket. It was of full weight, 
as Legree well perceived ; but, affecting anger, he 
said, 

" What, you lazy beast! short again! stand 
aside, — you '11 catch it, pretty soon !" 

The woman gave a groan of utter despair, and 
sat down on a board. The person who had been 
called Misse Cassy now came forward, and, with 
a haughty, negligeiit air, delivered her basket. 
As she delivered it, Legree looked in her eyes 
with a sneering yet inquiring glance. . 

She fixed her black eyes steadily on him, her 



lips moved slightly, and she said something in 
French. What it was, no one knew; but 
Legree's face became perfectly demoniacal in its 
expression, as she spoke ; he half raised his hand, 
as if to strike, — a gesture which she regarded 
with fierce disdain, as she turned and walked 
away. 

" And now," said Legree, " come here, you 
Tom. You see, I telled ye I didn't buy ye jest 
for the common work ; I mean to promote ye, 
and make a driver of ye ; and to-night ye may 
jest as well begin to get yer hand in. Now, ye 
jest take this yer gal and flog her ; ye 've seen 
enough on 't to know how." 

" I beg Mas'r's pardon," said Tom ; " hopes 
Mas'r won't set me at that. It 's what I an't 
used to, — never did, — and can't do, no way 
possible." 

" Ye '11 lam a pretty smart chance of things 
ye never did know, before I 've done with ye!" 
said Legree, taking up a cow-hide, and striking 
Tom a heavy blow across the cheek, and follow- 
ing up the infliction by a shower of blows. 

"There!" he said, as he stopped to rest; 
" now, will ye tell me ye can't do it V 

" Yes, Mas'r" said Tom, putting up his hand, 
to wipe the blood, that trickled down his face. 
" I 'm willin' to work, night and day, and work 
while there 's life and breath in me ; but this yer 
thing I can't feel it right to do ; — and, Mas'r, I 
never shall do it, — never ! " 

Tom had a remarkably smooth, soft voice, and 
a habitually respectful manner, that had given 
Legree an idea that he would be cowardly, and 
easily subdued. When he spoke these last 
words, a thrill of amazement went through every 
one ; the poor woman clasped her hands, and 
said "0 Lord!" and every one involuntarily 
looked at each other and drew in their breath, as 
if to prepare for the storm that was about to 
burst. 

Legree looked stupefied and confounded ; but 
at last burst forth, — 

"What! ye blasted black beast! tell me yfc 
don't think it right to do what I tell ye ! What 
have any of you cussed cattle to do with- thinking 
what 's right 1 I '11 put a stop to it ! Why, 
what do ye think ye are ? May be ye think ye 'r 
a gentleman, master Tom, to be a telling your 
master what 's right, and what an't ! So you 
pretend it 's wrong to flog the gal !" 

" I think so, Mas'r," said Tom ; " the poor crit* 
tur's sick and feeble; 'twould be downright 
cruel, and it 's what I never will do, nor begin to. 
Mas'r, if you mean to kill me, kill me ; but, as to 
my raising my hand agin any one here, I never 
shall, — I '11 die first!" 

Tom spoke in a mild voice, but with a decision 
that could not be mistaken. Legree shook with 
anger ; his greenish eyes glared fiercely, and his 
very whiskers seemed to curl with passion ; but, 
like some ferocious beast, that plays with its 
viptim before he devours it, he kept back his 
strong impulse to proceed to immediate violence, 
and broke out in bitter raillery. 
i " Well, here 's a pious dog, at last, let down 
among us sinners ! — a saint, a gentleman, and 
no less, to talk to us sinners about our sins ! 
Powerful holy critter, he must be ! Here, you 
rascal, you make believe to be so pious, — did n't 
you never hear, out of yer Bible, ' Servants, obey 
yer masters ' ? t An't I yer master ? Did n't I pay 
down twelve hundred dollars cash, for all there is 



134 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN I OR, 



inside yer old cussed black shell? An't yer mine, 
now, body and soul ?" he said, giving r lV)in a vio- 
lent kick with his heavy boot ; " tell me !" 

In the very depth of physical suffering, bowed 
by brutal oppression, this question shot a gleam 
of joy and triumph through Tom's soul. He sud- 
denly stretched himself up, and, looking earnest- 
ly to heaven, while the tears and blood that 
flowed down his face mingled, he exclaimed, 

" No ! no ! no ! my soul an't yours, Mas'r ! 
You have n't bought it, — ye can't buy it ! It 's 
been bought and paid for by one that is able to 
keep it ! — no matter, no matter, you can't harm 
me!" 

" I can't !" said Legree, with a sneer ; " we '11 
gee, — we'll see ! Here, Sambo, Quimbo, give 
this dog such a breakin' in as he won't get over, 
this month !" 

The two gigantic negroes that now laid hold of 
Tom, with fiendish exultation in their faces, might 
have formed no unapt personification of powers of 
darkness. The poor woman screamed with appre- 
hension, and all rose, as by a general impulse, 
while they dragged him unresisting from the 
place. 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 

the quadroon's STOIIY. 

" And behold the tears of such as are oppressed • and on the 
ride of their oppressors there was power. Wherefore I praised 
the dead that are already dead more than the living that are yet 
alive." — Eccl. 4 : 1. 

It was late at night, and Tom lay groaning and 
bleeding alone, in an old forsaken room of the gin- 
house, among pieces of broken machinery, piles 
of damaged cotton, and other rubbish which had 
there accumulated. 

The night was damp and close, and the thick 
air swarmed with myriads of mosquitos, which 
increased the restless torture of his wounds ; 
whilst a burning thirst — a torture beyond all 
others — filled up the uttermost measure of phys- 
ical anguish. 

"0, good Lord ! Do look down, — give me the 
yictory ! — give me the victory over all !" prayed 
poor Tom, in his anguish. 

A footstep entered the room, behind him, and 
the light of a lantern flashed on his eyes. 

"Who's there? 0, for the Lord's massy, 
please give me some water !" 

The woman Cassy — for it was she — set down 
her lantern, and, pouring water from a bottle, 
raised his head, and gave him drink. Another 
and another cup were drained, with feverish ea- 
gerness. 

" Drink all ye want," she said ; " I knew how 
it would be. It is n't the first time I 've been 
out in the night, carrying water to such as you." 

" Thank you, Missis," said Tom, when he had 
done drinking. 

" Don't call me Missis ! I 'm a miserable 
Slave, like yourself, — a lower one than you can 
ever be !" said she, bitterly ; " but now," said 
she, going to the door, and dragging in a small 
pallaise, over which she had spread linen cloths 
wet with cold water, " try, my poor fellow, to 
roll yourself on to this." 

Stiff with wounds and bruises, Tom was a long 
time in accomplishing this movement ; but, when 
done, he felt a sensible relief from the cooling 
application to his wounds. 



The woman, whom long practice with the vic- 
tims of brutality had made familiar with many 
healing arts, went on to make many applications 
to Tom's wounds, by means of which he was soon 
somewhat relieved. 

" Now," said the woman, when she had raised 
his head on a roll of damaged cotton, which 
served for a pillow, " there 's the best I can do 
for you." 

Tom thanked her ; and the woman, sitting 
down on the floor, drew up her knees, and em- 
bracing them with her arms, looked fixedly before 
her, with a bitter and painful expression of coun- 
tenance. Her bonnet fell back, and long wavy 
streams of black hair fell around her singular and 
melancholy face. 

" It 's no use, my poor fellow !" she broke out, 
at last, " it 's of no use, this you 've been trying 
to do. You are a brave fellow, — you had the 
right on your side ; but it 's all in vain, and put 
of the question, for you to struggle. You are in 
the devil's hands ; — he is the strongest, and you 
must give up !" 

Give up ! and had not human weakness and 
physical agony, whispered that, before? Tom 
started ; for the bitter woman, with her wild eyes 
and melancholy voice, seemed to him an embodi- 
ment of the temptation with which he had been 
wrestling. 

11 Lord ! Lord !" he groaned, " how can I 
give up . 1 " 

"There's no use calling on the Lord, — he 
never hears," said the woman, steadily; " there 
is n't any God, I believe ; or, if there is, he 's 
taken sides against us. All goes against us> 
heaven and earth. Everything is pushing us into 
hell. .Why should n't we go ? ; ' 

Tom closed his eyes, and shuddered at the dark, 
atheistic words. 

" You see," said the woman, " you don't know 
anything about it ; — I do. I 've been on this 
place five years, body and soul, under this man's 
foot ; and I hate him as I do the devil ! Hero 
you are, on a lone plantation, ten miles from 
any other, in the swamps ; not a white person 
here, who could testify, if you were burned alive, 
— if you were scalded, cut into inch-pieces, setup 
for the dogs to tear, or hung up and whipped to 
death. There 's no law here, of God or man, that 
can do you, or any one of us, the least good ; and 
this man, — there 's no earthly tiling that he 's too 
good to do. I could make any one's hair rise, and 
their teeth chatter, if I should only tell what I 've 
seen and been knowing to here, — and it 's no 
use resisting ! Did I want to live with him ? 
Was n't I a woman delicately bred ; and he — 
God in heaven ! what was he, and is he ? And 
yet, I 've lived with him, these five years, and 
cursed every moment of my life, — night and day ! 
And now he 's got a new one, — a young thing, 
only fifteen, and she brought up, she says, pious- 
ly. Her good mistress taught her to read the 
Bible ; and she 's brought her Bible here — to 
hell with her!" — and the woman laughed a 
wild and doleful laugh, that rung, with a strange, 
supernatural sound, through the old ruined shed. 

Tom folded his hands ; all was darkness and 
horror. 

"0 Jesus! Lord Jesus! have you quite for- 
got us poor critturs?" burst forth, at last; — 
" help, Lord, I perish !" 

The woman sternly continued : 

" And what are these miserable low dogs you 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



135 



work with, that you should suffer on their ac- 
count f Every one of them would turn against 
fir*t time they got a chance. They are 
all of 'em as low and cruel to each other as they 
ran be : there 's no use in your suffering to keep 
: them." 

•'Foot eritturs!" said Tom, — "what made 
'em cruel 1 — and, if I give out, I shall get used 
. and grow, little by Utile, just like 'em J No, 
v ' I've lost everything, — wife, and 

children, and home, and a kind Mas'r. — and he 
would have Bet me free, if he 'd only lived a week 
longer; I've lost everything in this world, and 
it's clean gone, forever, — and. now I cant lose 
hea v ; no, I can't get to be wicked, besides 

all!" 

■• Bat it can't, he that the Lord will lay sin to 
our account," said the woman : " he won't charge 
it t » us, when we 're forced to it; lie '11 charge it 
to them that drove us to it.*' 

41 Yes," said Ton; , " hut, that won't keep us 
from growing wicked. If I get to be as hard- 
hearted as that ar' Sambo, and as wicked, it won't 
make much odds to me DOW I come so ; it 's the 
»o, — that ar 's what I 'in a drcadin'." 

The woman fixed a wild and startled look on 
Tom, as if a new thought had struck her ; and 
then, heavily groaning, said, 

"0 God a' mercy ! you speak the truth ! O — 
O — !" — and, with groans, she fell on the floor, 
like one crushed and writhing under the cxtrernity 
of mental anguish. 

There was a silence, a while, in which the 
breathing of both parties could be heard, when 
Tom faintly said, " O, please, Missis !" 

The woman suddenly rose up, with her face 
composed to its usual stern, melancholy expres- 
sion. 

" Please, Missis, I saw 'cm throw my coat in 
that ar' corner, and in my coat-pocket is my 
Bible ; — if Missis would please get it for me." 
• Cassy went and got it. Tom opened, at once, 
to a heavily-marked passage, much worn, of the 
last scenes in the life of Him by whose stripes we 
are healed. 

" If Missis would only be so good as read that 
ar*, — it's better than water." 

Cassy took the book, with a dry, proud air, 
And looked over the passage. She then read 
aloud, in a stft voice, and with a beauty of in- 
tonation that was peculiar, that touching account 
of anguish and of glory. Often, as she read, her 
voice faltered, and sometimes failed her altogether, 
when she would stop, with an air of frigid com- 
posure, till she had mastered herself. AVhen she 
came to the touching words, " Father, forgive 
them, for they know not what they do," she 
threw down the book, and, burying her face in 
the heavy masses of her hair, she sobbed aloud, 
with a convulsive violence. 

Tom was weeping, also, and occasionally utter- 
ing a smothered ejaculation. 

" If we only could keep up to that ar' !." said 
Tom ; — "it seemed to come so natural to him, 
and we have to fight so hard for 't ! Lord, 
help us ! blessed Lord Jesus, do help us'!'.' 

" Missis," said Tom, after a while, " I can see 
that, somehow, you 're quite 'bove me in every- 
thing; but there 's one thing Missis might learn 
even from poor Tom. Ye said the Lord took sides 
against us, because he lets us be 'bused and 
knocked round ; but ye see what come on his own 
Son, — the blessed Lord of Glory, — wan't lie 



allays poor? and have wc, any on us, yet come 
BO Low as he come ? The Lord han't forgot us, — 
I 'm sartiir o' that ar'. If we suffer with him, 
we shall also reign, Scripture says ; but, if we 
deny him, he also will deny us. Didn't they 
all suffer ? — the Lord and all his ? It tells how 
they was stoned and sawn asunder, and wandered 
about in sheep-skins and goat-skins, and was 
destitute, afflicted, tormented. Sufferin' an't no 
reason to make us think the Lord 's turned agin 
us ; but jest the contrary, if only we hold on to 
him, and doesn't give up to sin." 

" But why does he put us where we can't help 
but sin ?" said the woman. 

" I think we can help it," said Tom. 

"Y'ou'll see," said Cassy ; " what '11 you do? 
To-morrow they '11 be at you again. I know 'em ; 
I 'vc seen all their doings ; I can't bear to think 
of all they'll bring you to; — and they '11 make 
you give out, at last !" 

" Lord Jesus !" said Tom, " you will take care 
of my soul! Lord, do! — don't let me give 
out!" 

'*0 dear!" said Cassy; "I've heard all this 
crying and praying before ; and yet, they 've been 
broken down, and brought under. There's Em- 
meline, she 's trying to hold on, and you're try- 
ing, — but what use? You must give up, or be 
killed by inches." 

" Weil, then, I will die!" said Tom. "Spin 
it out as long as they can, they can't help my 
dying, some time! — and, after that, they can't 
do no more. I 'm clar, I 'm set ! I know the 
Lord '11 help me, and bring me through." 

The woman did not answer ; she sat with her 
black eyes intently fixed on the floor. 

" May be it 's the way," she murmured to her- 
self; " but those that have given up, there 's no 
hope for them! — none! We live in filth, and 
grow loathsome, till we loathe ourselves! And 
we long to die, and we don't dare to kill our- 
selves ! — No hope ! no hope ! no hope ! — this 
girl now, — just as old as I was ! 

" You see me now," she said, speaking to Tom 
very rapidly; " see what I am! Well, I was 
brought up in luxury ; the first I remember is, 
playing about, when I was a child, in splendid 
parlors ; — when I was kept dressed up like a 
doll, and company and visitors used to praise me. 
There was a garden opening from the saloon win- 
dows ; and there I used to play hide-and-go-seek, 
under the orange-trees, with my brothers and 
sisters. I went to a convent, and there I learned 
music, French and embroidery, and what not ; and 
when I was fourteen, I came out to my father's 
funeral. He died very suddenly, and when the 
property came to be settled, they found that there 
was scarcely enough to cover the debts ; and when 
the creditors took an inventory of the property, I 
was set down in it. My mother, was a slave 
woman, and my father had always meant to set 
me free ; but he had not done it, and so I was set 
down in the list. I 'd always known who I was, 
but never thought much about it. Nobody ever 
expects tliat a strong, healthy man is a going to 
die. My father was a well man only four hours 
before he died ; — it was one of the first cholera 
cases in New Orleans. The day after the funeral, 
my father's wife took her children, and went up 
to'her father's plantation. I thought they treated 
me strangely, but didn't know. There was a 
young lawyer who they left to settle the busi- 
ness ; and he came every day, and was about the 



136 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR. 



house, and spoke very politely to me. He brought 
with him, one day, a young man, whom I thought 
the handsomest 1 had ever seen. I shall never 
forget that evening. I walked with him in the 
garden. I was lonesome and full of sorrow, and 
he was so kind and gentle to me ; and he told me 
that he had seen me before I went to the convent, 
and that he had loved me a great while, and that 
he would be my friend and protector ; — in short, 
though he didn't tell me, he had paid two thou- 
sand dollars for me, and I was his property ; — I 
became his willingly, for I loved him. Loved!" 
said the woman, stopping. " how I did love 
that man ! How I love him now, — and always 
shall, while I breathe ! He was so beautiful, so 
high, so noble ! He put me into a beautiful 
house, with servants, horses, and carriages, and 
furniture, and dresses. Everything that money 
could buy, he gave me; but I didn't set any 
value on all that, — I only cared for him. I 
loved him better than my God and my own soul ; 
and, if I tried, I couldn't do any other way from 
what he wanted me to. 

" I wanted only one thing — I did want him to 
marry me. I thought, if he loved me as he said 
he did, and if I was what he seemed to think I 
was, he would be willing to marry me and set me 
free. But he convinced me that it would be im- 
possible ; and he told me that, if we were only 
Faithful to each other, it was marriage before 
God. If that is true, wasn't I that man's wife ? 
Wasn't I faithful I For seven years, didn't I 
study every look and motion, and only live and 
breathe to please him 1 He had the yellow fever, 
and for twenty days and nights I watched with 
him. I alone, — and gave him all his medicine, 
and did everything for him ; and then he called 
me his good angel, and said I 'd saved his life. 
We had two beautiful children. The first was a 
boy, and we called him Henry. He was the im- 
age of his father, — he had such beautiful eyes, 
such a forehead, and his hair hung all in curls 
around it ; and he had all his father's spirit, and 
his talent, too. Little Elise, he said, looked like 
me. He used to tell me that I was the most 
beautiful woman in Louisiana, he was so proud 
of me and the children. He used to love to have 
me dress them up, and take them and me about 
in an open carriage, and hear the remarks that 
people would make on us ; and he used to fill my 
ears constantly with the fine tilings that were 
said in praise of me and the children. 0, those 
were happy days ! I thought I was as happy as 
any one could be ; but then there came evil times. 
He had a cousin come to New Orleans, who was 
his particular friend, — he thought all the world 
of him ; — but, from the first time I saw him, I 
couldn't tell why, I dreaded him ; fori felt sure 
he was going to bring misery on us. He got Henry 
to going out with him, and often he would not 
come home nights till two or three o'clock. I did 
not dare say a word ; for Henry was so high- 
spirited, I was afraid to. He had got him to the 
gaming-houses ; and he was one of the sort that, 
when he once got a going there, there was no 
holding back. And then he introduced him to 
another lady, and I saw soon that his heart was 
gone from me. He never told me, but I saw it, 
— I knew it, day after day, — I felt my heart 
breaking, but I could not say a word ! At this, 
the wretch offered to buy me and the children of 
flenry, to clear off his gambling debts, which 



stood in the way of his marrying ag he wished ; 

— and he sold us. He told me, one day, that he 
had business in the country, and should be gone 
two or three weeks. He spoke kinder than usual, 
and said he -should come back ; but it did n't 
deceive me. I knew that the time had come ; I 
was just like one turned into stone ; I could n't 
speak, nor shed a tear. He kissed me and kissed 
the children, a good many times, and went out. 
I saw him get on his horse, and I watched him 
till he was quite out of sight ; and then I fell 
down, and fainted. 

" Then he came, the cursed wretch! he came 
to take possession. He told me that he had 
bought me and my children ; and showed me the 
papers. I cursed him before God, and told him 
I 'd die sooner than live with him. 

" ' Just as you please,' said he ; ' but if you 
don't behave reasonably, I '11 sell both the chil- 
dren, where you shall never see them again.' He 
told me that he always had meant to have me, 
from the first time he saw me ; and that he had 
drawn Henry on, and got him in debt, on purpose 
to make him willing to sell me. That he got him 
in love with another woman ; and that I might 
know, after all that, that he should not give up 
for a few airs and tears, and things of that sort. 

" I gave up, for my hands were tied. He had 
my children ; — whenever I resisted bis will any- 
where, he would talk about selling them, and he 
made me as submissive as he desired. 0, what 
a life it was ! to live with my heart breaking, 
every day, — to keep on, on, on, loving, when it 
was only misery ; and to be bound, body and 
soul, to one I bated. I used to love to read to 
Henry, to play to him, to waltz with him, and 
sing to him ; but everything I did for this one 
was a perfect drag, — yet I was afraid to refuse 
anything. He was very imperious, and harsh to 
the children. Elise was a timid little thing ; but 
Henry was bold and high-spirited, like his father, 
! and he had never been brought under, in tlfc 
i least, by any one. He was always finding fault, 
and quarrelling with him ; and I used to live in 
daily fear and dread. I tried to make the child 
respectful ; I tried to keep them apart, for I held 
on to those children like death ; but it did no 
good. He sold both those children. He took me to 
ride, one day, and when I came home, they were 
nowhere to be found! He told m#he had sold 
them ; he showed me the money, the price of their 
blood. Then it seemed as if all good forsook me 
I raved and cursed, — cursed God and man ; and, 
for a while, I believe, he really was afraid of me 
But he didn't give up so. He told me that my 
children were sold, but whether I ever saw their 
faces again, depended on him ; and that, if I 
was n't quiet, they should smart for it. Well, 
you can do anything with a woman, when you 've 
got her children. He made me submit ; he made 
me be peaceable ; he flattered me with hopes 
that, perhaps, he would buy them back ; and so 
things went on, a week or two. One day, I was 
out walking, and passed by the calaboose ; I saw 
a crowd about the gate, and heard a child's voice, 

— and suddenly my Henry broke away from two 
or three men who were holding him, and ran, 
screaming, and caught my dress. They came up 
to him, swearing dreadfully ; and one man, whose 
face I shall never forget, told him that he would n't 
get away so ; that he was going with him into 
the calaboose, and he 'd get a lesson there he 'd 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



-yoh 



o/ 



rget. T tried to bos; and plead, — they 
only laughed ; the poor boy screamed and looked 

int> my face, and held on to me, until, in tearing 
him off", they tore the skirt of my dress half 
away ; and they carried him in, screaming 
'Mother! mother! mother!' There was one man 
■tood there seemed to pity mo. I offered him all 
the money I had, if he'd only interfere. lie 
shook his head, and said that the man said the 
hoy had been impudent and disobedient, ever 
■ince he bought him ; that he was going to break 
him in, once for all. I turned and ran ; and 
every step of the way, I thought that I heard 
Iron BCream. I got into the house ; ran. all out 
of breath, to the parlor, where I found Butler. I 
told him, and begged him to go and interfere. 
He only laughed, and told mc the boy had got 
his deserts. He'd got to be broken in, — the 
sooner the better; 'what did I expect?' he 
asked. 

"It seemed to me something in mv head 
snapped, at that moment. I felt dizzy and furious. 
I remember seeing a great sharp bowie-knife on 
the table ; I remember something about catching 
it, and living upon him ; and then all grew dark, 
and I didn't know any more — not for days and 
days. 

" When I came to myself, T was in a nice room, 
— but not mine. An old black woman tended 
me ; and a doctor came to see me, and there was a 
great deal of care taken of me. After a while, I 
found that he had gone away, and left me at this 
house to be sold ; and that 's why they took such 
pains with mc. 

11 I did n't mean to get well, and hoped T 
shouldn't ; but, in spite of me, the fever went off, 
and I grew healthy, and finally got up. Then, 
they made me dress up, everyday ; and gentlemen 
used to come in and stand and smoke their cigars, 
and look at me, and ask questions, and debate my 
price. I was so gloomy and silent, that none of 
them wanted me. They threatened to whip me, 
if I was n't gayer, and did n't take some pains to 
make myself agreeable. At length, one day, came 
a gentleman named Stuart. He seemed to have 
some feeling for me ; he saw that something 
dreadful was on my heart, and he came to see me 
alone, a great many times, and finally persuaded 
me to tell him. He bought me, at last, and prom- 
ised to do all •he could to find and buy back my 
children. He went to the hotel where my Henry 
was ; they told him he had been sold to a planter 
up on Pearl river ; that was the last that [ ever 
heard. Then he found where my daughter was ; 
an old woman was keeping her. He offered an 
immense sum for her, but they would not sell 
her. Butler found out that it was for me he 
wanted her ; and he sent me word that I should 
never have her. Captain Stuart was very kind to 
me ; he had a splendid plantation, and took me to 
it. In the course of a year, I had a son born. 
0, that child ! — how I loved it ! How just like 
my poor Henry the little thing looked ! But I 
had made up my mind, — yes, I had. I would 
never again let a child live to grow up ! I took 
the little fellow in my arms, when he was two 
weeks old, and kissed him, and cried over him; 
and then I gave him laudanum, and held him close 
to my bosom, while he slept to death. How I 
mourned and cried over it ! and who ever dreamed 
that it was anything but a mistake, that had made 
me give it the laudanum ? but it 's one of the few 
things that I 'in glad of, now. I am not sorry, to 



this day ; he, at least, is out of pain. What bet- 
ter than death could I give him, poor child ! 
After a while, the cholera came, and Captain 
Stuart died ; everybody died that wanted to live, 

— and I, — I, though I went down to death's door, 

— I lived! Then I was sold, and passed from 
hand to hand, till I grew faded and wrinkled, and 
I had a fever ; and' then this wretch bought me, 
an I brought me here, — and here lam!" 

The woman stopped. She had hurried on 
through her story, with a wild, passionate utter- 
ance ; sometimes seeming to address it to Tom, 
and sometimes speaking as in a soliloquy. So 
vehement and overpowering was the force with 
which she spoke, that, for a season, Tom was 
beguiled even from the pain of his wounds, and, 
raising himself on one elbow, watched her as she 
paced restlessly up and down, her long black hair 
swaying heavily about her, as she moved. 

' k You tell me," she said, after a pause, " that 
there is a God, — a God that looks down and sees 
all these things. May be it 's so. The sisters in 
the convent used to tell me of a day of judgment, 
when everything is coming to light ; — won't there 
be vengeance, then ! 

" They think it 's nothing, what we suffer, — 
nothing, what our children suffer ! It 's all a 
small matter ; yet I 've walked the streets when it 
seemed as if I had misery enough in my one 
heart to sink the city. I 've wished the houses 
would fall on me, or the stones sink under me. 
Yes ! and, in the judgment day, I will stand up 
before God, a witness against those that have 
ruined me and my children, body and soul ! 

" When I was a girl, I thought I was religious ; 
I used to love God and prayer. Now, I 'm a lost 
soul, pursued by devils that torment me day and 
night; they keep pushing m& on and on — and 
I'll do it, too, some of these days!" she said, 
clenching her hands, while an insane light glanced 
in her heavy black eyes. " I '11 send him where 
he belongs, — a short way, too, — one of these 
nights, if they burn me alive for it!" A wild, 
long laugh rang through the deserted room, and 
ended in a hysteric sob ; she threw herself on the 
floor, in convulsive sobbings and struggles. 

In a few moments, the frenzy fit seemed to pass 
off; she rose slowly, and seemed to collect herself. 

" Can I do anything more for you, my poor fel- 
low?" she said, approaching where Tom lay; 
" shall I give you some more water ?" 

There was a graceful and compassionate sweet- 
ness in her voice and manner, as she said^ this, 
that formed a strange contrast with the former 
wildness. 

Tom drank the water, and looked earnestly and 
pitifully into her face. 

"0, Missis, I wish you 'd go to Him that can 
give you living waters !" 

" Go to him! Where is he? Who is he?" 
said Cassy. 

" Him that you read of to me, —the Lord." 
'"1 used to see the picture of him, over the 
altar, when I was a girl," said Cassy, her dark 
eyes fixing themselves in an expression of mourn- 
ful revery ; " but, he isn't here! there "s nothing 
here, but sin, and long, long, long despair ! !" 
She laid her hand on her breast and drew in her 
breath, as if to lift a heavy weight. 

Tom looked as if he would speak again ; but she 
cut him short, with a decided gesture. 

" Don't talk, my poor fellow. Try to sleep, if ( 
you can." And, placing water in his reach, and 



138 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN I OR, 



making whatever little arrangements for his com- 
fort she could, Cassy left the shed. 



CHAPTER XXXV. 

THE TOKENS. 

** And slight, withal, may be the things that bring 
Back on the heart the weight which it would fling 
Aside forever ; it may be a sound, 
A flower, the wind, the ocean, which shall wound, — 
Sticking the electric chain wherewith we 're darkly bound." 
Ckilde Harold's Pilgrimage, Can. 4. 

The sitting-room of Lesrree's establishment was 
a large, long room, with a wide, ample fireplace. 
It had once been hung with a showy and expen- 
sive paper, which now hung mouldering, torn 
and discolored, from the damp walls. The place 
had that peculiar sickening, unwholesome smell, 
compounded of mingled damp, dirt and decay, 
which one often notices in close old houses. The 
wall-paper was defaced, in spots, by slops of beer 
and wine ; or garnished with chalk memoran- 
dums, and long sums footed up, as if somebody 
had been practising arithmetic there. In the 
fireplace stood a brazier full of burning charcoal ; 
for, though the w r eather was not cold, the even- 
ings always seemed damp and chilly in that great 
room ; and Legree, moreover, wanted a place to 
light his cigars, and heat his water for punch. 
The ruddy glare of the charcoal displayed the 
confused and unpromising aspect of the room, — 
saddles, bridles, several sorts of harness, riding- 
whips, overcoats, and various articles of clothing, 
scattered up and down the room in confused vari- 
ety ; and the dogs, of whom we have before 
spoken, had encamped themselves among them, 
to suit their own taste and convenience. 

Legree was just mixing himself a tumbler of 
punch, pouring his hot water from a cracked and- 
broken-nosed pitcher, grumbling, as he did so, 

" Plague on that Sambo, to kick up this yer 
row between me and the new hands ! The fel- 
low won't be fit to work for a week, now, — right 
in the press of the season!" 

" Yes, just like you," said a voice, behind his 
chair. It was the woman Cassy, who had stolen 
upon his soliloquy. 

14 Hah ! you she-devil ! you 've come back, 
have you ? ' ' 

"Yes, I have," she said, coolly ; "come to 
have my own way, too !" 

" You lie, you jade ! I '11 be up to my word. 
Either behave yourself, or stay down to the quar- 
ters, and fare and work with the rest." 

" I 'd rather, ten thousand times," said the 
woman, " live in the dirtiest hole at the quarters, 
than be under your hoof!" 

"But you are under my hoof, for all that," 
said he, turning upon her, with a savage grin ; 
" that 's one comfort. So, sit down here on my 
knee, my dear, and hear to reason," said he, lay- 
ing hold on her wrist. 

44 Simon Legree, take care !" said the woman, 
with a sharp Bash of her eye, a glance so wild 
and insane in its light as to be almost appalling. 
44 You 're afraid of me, Simon," she said, delib- 
erately, "and you've reason to be! But be 
careful, for I f ve got the devil in me!" 

The last words she whispered in a hissing tone, 
close to his ear. 

44 Get out ! I believe, to my soul, you have !" 



said Legree, pushing her from him, and looking 
uncomfortably at her. • " After all, Cassy," he 
said, " why can't you be friends with me, as you 
used to!" 

44 Used to!" said she, bitterly. She stopped 
short, — a world of choking feelings, rising in 
her heart, keep her silent. 

Cassy had always kept over Legree the kind of 
influence that a strong, impassioned woman can 
ever keep oyer the most brutal man ; but, of late, 
she had grown more and more irritable and rest- 
less, under the hideous yoke of her servitude, 
and her irritability, at times, broke out into 
raving insanity ; and this liability made her a 
sort of object of dread to Legree, who had that 
superstitious horror of insane persons which is 
common to coarse and uninstructed minds. When 
Legree brought Emmeline to the house, all the 
smouldering embers of womanly feeling flashed 
up in the worn heart of Cassy, and she took part 
with the girl ; and a fierce quarrel ensued be- 
tween her and Legree. Legree, in a fury, swore 
she should be put to field * service, if she would 
not be peaceable. Cassy, with proud scorn, de- 
clared she would go to t^e field. And she worked 
there one day, as we have described, to show how 
perfectly she scorned the threat 

Legree was secretly uneasy all day ; for Cassy 
had an influence over him from which he could 
not free himself. When she presented her bas- 
ket at the scales, he had hoped for some conces- 
sion, and addressed her in a sort of half concil- 
iatory, half scornful tone ; and she had answered 
with the bitterest contempt. 

The outrageous treatment of poor Tom had 
roused her still more ; and she had followed Le- 
gree to the house, with no particular intention, 
but to upbraid him for his brutality. 

44 I wish, Cassy," said Legree, " you 'd behave 
yourself decently." 

44 You talk about behaving decently! And 
what have you been doing? — you, who have n't 
even sense enough to keep from spoiling one of 
your best hands, right in the most pressing sea- 
son, just for your devilish temper !" 

44 1 was a fool, it's a fact, to let any such 
brangle come up," said Legree; " but, when the 
boy set up his will, he had to be broke in." 

44 1 reckon you won't break him in !" 

44 Won't I ?" said Legree, rising* passionately. 
" I 'd like to know if I won't ! He '11 be the first 
nigger that ever came it round me ! I '11 break 
every bone in his body, but he shall give up !" 

Just then the door opened, and Sambo entered. 
He came forward, bowing, and holding out some- 
thing in a paper. 

44 What 's that, you dog?" said Legree. 

44 It 's a witch thing, Mas'r !" 

44 A what?" 

" Some thi lag that niggers gets from witches^ 
Keeps 'em from feelin' when they 's flogged. He 
had it tied round his neck, with a black string." 

Legree, like most godless and cruel men, was 
superstitious. He took the paper, and opened it 
uneasily. 

There dropped out of it a silver dollar, and a 
long, shining curl of fair hair, — hair which, like 
a living thing, twined itself round Legree 's fiiv 
gers. 

44 Damnation !" he screamed, in sudden pas- 
sion^ stamping on the floor, and pulling furiously 
at the hair, as if it burned him. " Where dia 
this come from? Take it off! — burn it up! — 



LIFE AMONG TIIE LOWLY. 



139 



burn it up!'' ho screamed, tearing it off, and 
throwing i 1, into the charcoal. " What did you 
bring it to me for?" 

Sambo stood with his heavy mouth wide open, 
and aghast with wonder ; and Cassy, who was 
preparing to leave the apartment, stopped, and 
looked at him in perfect amazement. 

" Don't you bring me any more of your dev- 
ilish tilings •" said he, shaking his fist at Sambo, 
who retreated hastily towards the door; and, 
picking up the silver dollar, he sent it smashing 
through the window-pane, out into the darkness. 

Sambo was glad to make his escape. When 
he was gone, Legree seemed a little ashamed of 
his fit of alarm. He sat doggedly down in his 
chair, and began sullenly sipping his tumbler of 
punch. 

Cassy prepared herself for going out, unob- 
served by him ; and slipped aAvay to minister to 
poor Tom, as we have already related. 

And what was the matter with Legree ? and 
What was there in a simple curl of fair hair to 
appall that brutal man, familiar with every form 
Ol cruelty 1 To answer this, we must carry the 
reader backward in his history. Hard and repro- 
bate as the godless man seemed now, there had 
been a time when he had been rocked on the 
bosom of a mother, — cradled with prayers and 
pious hymns, -his now scared broAV bedewed 
with the waters of holy baptism. In early child- 
hood, a fair-haired woman had led him, at the 
sound of Sabbath bell, to worship and to pray. 
Far in New England that mother had trained her 
Only son, with long, unwearied love, and patient 
prayers. Born of a hard-tempered sire, on whom 
that gentle woman had wasted a world of unval- 
ued love, Legree had followed in the steps of his 
father. Boisterous, unruly and tyrannical, he 
despised all her counsel, and would none of her 
reproof; and, at an early age, broke from her, to 
fieek his fortunes at sea. He never came home 
but once, after ; and then, his mother, with the 
yearning of a heart that must love something, 
and has nothing else to love, clung to him, and 
sought, with passionate prayers and entreaties, 
to win him from a life of sin, to his soul's eter- 
nal good. 

That was Legree's day of grace ; then good 
angels called him ; then he was almost persuad- 
ed, and mercy held him by the hand. His heart 
inly relented, — there was a conflict, — but sin 
got the victory, and he set all the force of his 
rough nature against the conviction of his con- 
science. He drank and swore, — was wilder and 
more brutal than ever. And, one night, when 
his mother, in the last agony of her despair, 
knelt at his feet, he spurned her from him, — 
threw her senseless on the floor, and, with brutal 
curses, fled to his ship. The next Legree heard 
Of his mother was, when, one night, as he was 
Carousing among drunken companions, a letter 
was put into his hand. He opened it, and a lock 
of long, curling hair fell from it, and twined 
about his fingers. The letter told him his mother 
was dead, and that, dying, she blest and forgave 
him. 

There is a dread, unhallowed necromancy of 
evil, that turns things sweetest and holiest to 
phantoms of horror and affright. That pale, lov- 
ing mother, — her dying prayers, her forgiving 
love, — wrought in that demoniac heart of sin 
only as a damning sentence, bringing with it a 
fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indigna- 



tion. Legree burned the hair, and burned the 
letter ; and when he saw them hissing and crack- 
ling in the flame, inly shuddered as he thought 
of everlasting fires. He tried to drink, and revel, 
and swear away the memory ; but often, in the 
deep night, whose solemn stillness arraigns the 
bad soul in forced communion with herself, he 
had seen that pale mother rising by his bedside, 
and felt the soft twining of that hair around his 
fingers, till the cold sweat would roll down his 
face, and he would spring from his bed in horror. 
Ye who have wondered to hear, in the same evan- 
gel, that God is love, and that God is a consuming 
fire, see ye not how, to the soul resolved in evil, 
perfect love is the most fearful torture, the seal 
and sentence of the direst despair ? 

"Blast it!" said Legree to himself, as he 
sipped his liquor; "where did he get that? If 
it did n't look just like — whoo ! I thought I 'd 
forgot that. Curse me, if I think there 's any 
such thing as forgetting anything, anyhow, — 
hang it! I'm lonesome! I mean to call Em. 
She hates me — the monkey! I don't care, — 
I '11 make her come !." 

Legree stepped out into a large entry, which 
went up stairs, by what had formerly been a 
superb winding staircase ; but the passage-way 
was dirty and dreary, encumbered with boxestand 
unsightly litter. The stairs, uncarpeted, seemed 
winding up, in the gloom, to nobody knew where ! 
The pale moonlight streamed through a shattered 
fanlight over the door ; the air was unwholesome 
and chilly, like that of a vault. 

Legree stopped at the foot of the stairs, and 
heard a voice singing. It seemed strange and 
ghostlike in that dreary old house, perhaps be- 
cause of the already tremulous state of his nerves. 
Hark ! what is it ? 

A wild, pathetic voice chants a hymn common 
among the slaves : 

" there '11 be mourning, mourning, mourning, 
there '11 be mourning, at the judgment-seat of Christ !" 

"Blast the girl!" said Legree. "I'll choke 
her! — Em ! Em !" he called, harshly ; but only 
a mocking echo from the walls answered him. 
The sweet- voice still sang on : 

" Parents and children there shall part ! 
Parents and children there shall p*rt ! 
Shall part to meet no more !" 

And clear and loud swelled through the empty 
halls the refrain, 

" there '11 be mourning, mourning, mourning, 
there '11 be mourning, at the judgment-seat oi Christ ! " 

Legree stopped. He would have been ashamed 
to tell of it, but large drops of sweat stood on his 
forehead, his heart beat heavy and thick with fear ; 
he even thought he saw something white rising 
and glimmering in the gloom before him, and 
shuddered to think what if the form of his dead 
mother should suddenly appear to him. 
■ "I know one thing," he said to himself, as he 
stumbled back in the sitting-room , and sat down ; 
" I '11 let that fellow alone, after this ! What did 
I want of his cussed paper ? I b'lieve I am be- 
witched, sure enough ! I 've been shivering and 
sweating, ever since ! Where did he get that hair ? 
It could n't have been that ! I burnt that up, I 
know I did ! It would be a joke, if hair could 
rise from the dead!" 

Ah, Legree ! that golden tress was charmed ; 
each hair had in it a spell of terror and remorse 



140 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN I OR, 



for thee, and was used by a mightier power to 
bind thy cruel hands from inflicting uttermost 
evil on the helpless ! 

" I say," said Legree, stamping and whistling 
to the dogs, " wake up, some of } r ou, and keep me 
company ! ' ' but the dogs only opened one eye at 
him, sleepily, and closed it again. 

" I '11 have Sambo and Quimbo up here, to sing 
and dance one of their hell dances, and keep off 
these horrid notions," said Legree ; and, putting 
on his hat, he went on to the veranda, and blew 
a horn, with which he commonly summoned his 
two sable drivers. 

Legree was often wont, when in a gracious 
humor, to get these two worthies into his sitting- 
room, and, after warming theni up with whiskey, 
amuse himself by setting them to singing, danc- 
ing or fighting, as the humor took him. 

It was between one and two o'clock at night, 
as Gassy was returning from her ministrations to 
poor Tom, that she heard the sound of wild 
shrieking, whooping, hallooing, and singing, 
from the sitting-room, mingled with the barking 
of dogs, and other symptoms of general uproar. 

She came up on the veranda steps, and looked 
in. Legree and both the drivers, in a state of 
furious intoxication, were singing, whooping, 
upsetting chairs, and making all manner of 
ludicrous and horrid griirfaces at each other. 

She rested her small, slender hand on the win- 
dow-blind, and looked fixedly at them; — there 
was a world of anguish, scorn, and fierce bitter- 
ness, in her black eyes, as she did so. " Would 
it be a sin to rid the world of such a wretch'?" 
she said to herself. 

She turned hurriedly away, and, passing round 
to a back door, glided up stairs, and tapped at 
Erameline's door. 



CHAPTER XXXVI. 



EMMELINE AND CASSY. 



Cassy entered the room, and found Emmeline 
sitting, pale with fear, in the furthest corner of 
it. As she came in, the girl started up nervously ; 
but, on seeing who it was, rushed forward, and 
catching iier arm, said, "0, Cassy, is it you? 
I 'm so glad you 've come ! I was afraid it was — . 
0, you don't know what a horrid noise there has 
been, down stairs, all this evening !" 

" I ought to know," said Cassy, dryly. " I 've 
heard it often enough." 

"0 Cassy! do tell me, — couldn't we get 
away from this place? I don't care where, — 
into the swamp among the snakes, — anywhere ! 
Could rit we get somewhere away from here ?" 

" Nowhere, but into our graves," said Cassy. 

" Did you ever try ?" 

" I 've seen enough of trying, and what comes 
of it," said Cassy. 

" I 'd be willing to live in the swamps, and 
gnaw the bark from trees. I an't afraid of 
snakes ! I 'd rather have one near me than 
him," said Emmeline, eagerly. 

"There have been a good many here of your 
opinion," said Cassy ; " but you couldn't stay in 
the swamps, — you'd be tracked by the dogs, 
and brought back, and then — then — " 

" What would he do?" said the girl, looking, 
with breathless interest, into her face. 

"What wouldn't he do, you'd better ask," 



said Cassy. " He 's learned his trade well, 
among the pirates in the West Indies. You 
would n't sleep much, if I should tell you things 
I 've seen, — things that he tells of, sometimes, 
for good jokes. I 've heard screams here that I 
haven't been able to get out of my head fdlr 
weeks and weeks. There 's a place way out 
down by the quarters, where you can see a black, 
blasted tree, and the ground all covered with 
black ashes. Ask any one what was done there, 
and see if they will dare to tell you." 

" ! what do you mean?" 

" I won't tell you. I hate to think of it. And 
I tell you, the Lord only knows what we may see 
to-morrow, if that poor fellow holds out as he 's 
begun." 

" Horrid !" said Emmeline, every drop of blood 
receding from her cheeks. "0, Cassy, do tell 
me what I shall do !" 

" What I 've done. Do the best you can, — do 
what you must, — and make it up in hating and 
cursing." 

" He wanted to make me drink some of his hate- 
ful brandy," said Emmeline ; " and I hate it so — " 

" You 'd better drink," said Cassy. " I hated 
it, too ; and now I can't live without it. One 
must have something ; — tilings don't look SO 
dreadful, when you take that." 

" Mother used to tell me never to touch any 
such thing," said Emmeline. 

"Mother told you!" said Cassy, with a thrill- 
ing and bitter emphasis on the word mother. 
" What use is it for mothers to say anything? 
You are all to be bought and paid for, and your 
souls belong to whoever gets you. That 's tbo 
way it goes. I say, drink brandy ; drink all you 
can, and it '11 make things come easier." 

"0, Cassy! do pity me !" 

" Pity you ! — don't I ? Have n't I a daughter*, 
— Lord knows where she is, and whose she is 
now, — going the way her mother went, before 
her, I suppose, 



and that her children must go, 



after her ! There 's no end to the curse — for* 
ever!" 

" I wish I 'd never been born !" said Emmeline, 
wringing her hands. 

"That's an old wish with me," said Cassy. 
"I've got used to wishing that. I'd die, if I 
dared to," she said, looking out into the dark* 
ness, with that still, fixed despair which was the 
habitual expression of her face when at rest. 

" It would be wicked to kill one's self," said 
Emmeline. 

" I don't know why, — no wickeder than things 
we live and do, day after day. But the sisters 
told me things, when I was in the convent, that 
make me afraid to die. If it would only be the 
end of us, why, then — " ' 

Emmeline turned away, and hid her face in 
her hands. 

While this conversation was passing in the 
chamber, Legree, overcome with his carouse, had 
sunk to sleep in the room below. Legree was 
not an habitual drunkard. His coarse, strong 
nature craved, and could endure, a continual 
stimulation, that would have utterly wrecked 
and crazed a finer one. But a deep, underlying 
spirit of cautiousness prevented his often yielding 
to appetite in such measure as to lose control or 
himself. 

This night, however, in hi3 feverish efforts fc 
banish from his mind those fearful elements of 
woe and remorse which woke within him, he had 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



141 



n common ; so that, when he 
ible attendants, ho foil 
ilv on ;i B sttle in the room, and was sound 
ftaleep. 

( I ! how dares the had boo] to enter the shadowy 
world of Bleep! — that land whoso dim outlines 
lie bo fearfully near I i the mystic Bcene of retri- 
Ination! Legree dr In his heavy and 

p, a veiled form stood beside him, 
And laid a cold, B >ft hand upon him. He thought 
hi know who it was. and shuddered, with creep- 
ing horror, though the face was veiled. Then he 
thought he felt that hair twining round his fingers ; 
and then that it slid smoothly round his neck, 
and tight med and tightened, and he could not 
draw his breath; and then he. thought voices 
whispered to him. — whispers that chilled him 
with horror. Then it Beemed to him he was on 
the edge <>\" a frightful abyss, holding on and 
struggling in mortal fear, while dark hands 
Stretched up, and wore pulling him over; and 
jy cam/ behind him laughing, and pushed 
him. And then rose up that Bolemn veiled figure, 
and drew aside the veil. It was his mother; and 
she turned away from him, and he fell down, 
down, down, amid a confused noise of shrieks, 
and groans, and shouts of demon laughter, — and 
Legree awoke. 

Calmly the rosy hue of dawn was stealing into 
the room. The morning star stood n with its 
solemn, holy eye of light, looking down on the 
man of sin. from out the brightening sky. 0, 
with what freshness., what solemnity and beauty. 
Ls each now day horn ; as if to say to insensate 
man, "Behold! thou hast one more chance! 
Strive for immortal glory !" There is no speech 
nor language where this voice is not heard ; but 
the bold, bad man heard it not. He woke with 
an oath and a curse. What to him was the gold 
and purple, the daily miracle of morning? What 
to him the sanctity of that star which the Son of 
God has hallowed as his own emblem ? Brute- 
like, he saw without perceiving; and, stumbling 
forward, poured out a tumbler of brandy, and 
drank half of it. 

" I we had a h — 1 of a night!" he said to 
Gassy, who just then entered from an opposite 
door. 

" You '11 get plenty of the same sort, by and 
by," said she, dryly. 

" What do you mean, you minx?" 

" You '11 find out, one of these days," returned 
Gassy, in the same tone. "Now, Simon, I've 
one piece of advice to give you." 

"The devil you have!" 

"My advice is," said Cassy, steadily, as she 
began adjusting some things about the room, 
" that you let Ton\ alone." 

" What business is 't of yours?" 

"What? To be sure, I don't know what ifc 
should be. If you want to pay twelve hundred 
for a fellow, and use him right up in the press 
of the season, just to serve your own spite, it's 
no business of mine. I 've done what I could for 
him." 

"You have? What business have you med- 
dling in my matters?" 

"None, to be sure. I've saved you some 
thousands of dollars, at different times, by taking 
care of your hands, — that 's all the thanks I get. 
If your crop comes shorter into market than any 
of theirs, you won't lose your bet, I suppose? 
Tompkins won't lord it over you, I suppose, — 



and you '11 pay down your money like a lady, 
wont you? I think I see you doing it!" 

Legree, like many other planters, had but one 
form of ambition, — to have in the heaviest crop 
of the season, — and he had several bets on this 
very present season, pending in the next town. 
Cassy, therefore, with woman's tact, touched the 
only string that could be made to vibrate. 

44 Well, I "11 let him off at what he 's got," 
said Legree ; " but he shall beg my pardon, and 
promise better fashions." 

" That he won't do," said Cassy. 

« Won't, — eh?" 

11 No, he won't," said Cassy. 

" I 'd like to know why, Mistress," said Legree, 
in the extreme of scorn. 

" Because he 's done right, and he knows it, 
and won't say he 's done wrong." 

" Who a cuss cares what he knows ? The nig- 
ger shall say what I please, or — " 

" Or, you '11 lose your bet on the cotton crop, 
hy keeping him out of the field, just at this very 
press. - ' 

" But he will give up, — course he will ; don't 
I know what niggers is ? He '11 beg like a dog, 
this morning." 

" lie won't, Simon ; you don't know this kind. 
You may kill him by inches, — you won't get the 
first word of confession out of him." 

14 We '11 see ; — where is he ?" said Legree, 
going out. 

"In the waste-room of the. gin-house," said 
Cassy. 

Legree, though he talked so stoutly to Cassy, 
still sallied forth from the house with a degree of 
misgiving which was not common with him. His 
dreams of r the past night, mingled with Cassy 'g 
prudential suggestions, considerably affected his 
mind. He resolved that nobody should be wit- 
ness of his encounter with Tom ; and determined, 
if he could not subdue him by bullying, to defer his 
vengeance, to be wreaked in a more convenient 
season. 

The solemn light of dawn — the angelic glory 
of the morning-star. — had looked in through the 
rude window of the shed where Tom was lying ; 
and, as if descending on that star-beam, came the 
solemn words, "I am the root and offspring of 
David, and the bright and morning star." The 
mysterious warnings and intimations of Cassy, so 
far from discouraging his soul, in the end had 
roused it as with a heavenly call. He did not know 
but that the day of his death was dawning in the- 
sky ; and his heart throbbed with solemn throes' 
of joy and desire, as he thought that the won- 
drous all, of which he had often pondered, — the 
great white throne, with its ever radiant rainbow ; 
the white-robed multitude, with voices as many 
waters; the crowns, the palms, the harps, — 
might all break upon his vision before that sun 
should set again. And, therefore, without shud- 
dering or trembling, he heard the voiee of his per- 
secutor, as he drew near. 

" Well, my boy," said Legree, with a con- 
temptuous kick, " how do you find yourself? 
Did n't I tell yer I could larn yer a thing or two ? 
How do yer like it, — eh ? How did yer whaling 
agree with yer, Tom? An't quite so crank as ye 
was last night. Ye could n't treat a poor sinner, 
now, to a bit of a sermon, could ye, — - eh ?" 

Torn answered nothing. 

44 Get up, you beast !" said Legree, kicking him 
a sain. 



142 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN I OR, 



This was a difficult matter for one so bruised 
and faint, and, as Tom made efforts to do so, Le- 
gree laughed brutally. 

" What makes ye so spry, this morning, Tom? 
Cotched cold, may be, last night." 

Tom by this time had gained his feet, and was 
confronting his master with a steady, unmoved 
front. 

"The devil you can!" said Legree, looking 
him over. " I believe you have n't got enough yet. 
Now, Tom, get right down on yer knees and beg 
my pardon, for yer shines last night." 

Tom did not move. 

" Down, you dog !" said Legree, striking him 
with his riding-whip. 

" Mas'r Legree," said Tom, M I can't do it. I 
did only what I thought was right. I shall do 
just so again, if ever the time comes. I never 
will do a cruel thing, come what may." 

" Yes, but ye don't know what may come, Mas- 
ter Tom. Ye think what you 'vegot is something. 
I tell you 't an't anything, — nothing 'tall. How 
would ye like to be tied to a tree, and 1 ave a slow 
fire lit up around ye ? — would n't that be pleas- 
ant, —eh, Tom?" 

" Mas'r," said Tom, " T know ye can do dread- 
ful things ; but," — he stretched himself upward 
and clasped his hands, — "but, after ye 've 
killed the body, there an't no more ye can 
do. And 0, there's all eternity to come, after 
that!" 

Eternity ! — the word thrilled through the 
black man's soul with light, and power, as he 
spoke ; it thrilled through the sinner's soul, too, 
like the bite of a scorpion. Legree gnashed on 
him with his teeth, but rage kept him silent ; 
and Tom, like a man disenthralled, spoke, in a 
clear and cheerful voice, 

" Mas'r Legree, as ye 'bought me, I'll be a 
true and faithful servant to ye. I '11 give ye all 
the work of my hands, all my time, ail my 
strength ; but my \ soul I won't give up to mortal 
man. I will hold on to the Lord, and put his 
commands before all, — die or live ; you may be 
sure on't. Mas'r Legree, I an't a grain afeared 
to die. I 'd as soon die as not. Ye may whip 
me, starve me, burn me, — it '11 only send me 
sooner where I want to go." 

"I'll make ye give out, though, 'fore I've 
done !" said Legree, in a rage. 

" I shall have help," said Tom ; " you '11 never 
do it." 

"Who the devil 's going to help you ?" said 
Legree, scornfully. 

" The Lord Almighty," said Tom. 

" D — n you !" said Legree, as with one blow 
of his fist he felled Tom to the earth. 

A cold soft hand fell on Legree' s, at this mo- 
ment. He turned, — it was Cassy 's ; but the cold 
soft touch recalled his dream of the night before, 
and, flashing through the chambers of his brain, 
came all the fearful images of the night- watches, 
with a portion of the horror that accompanied 
them. 

" Will you be a fool?" said Cassy, in French. 
" Let him go ! Let me alone to get him fit 
to be in the field again. Is n't it just as I told 
you?" 

They say the alligator, the rhinoceros, though 
enclosed in bullet-proof mail, have each a spot 
where they are vulnerable ; and fierce, reckless, 
unbelieving reprobates, have commonly this point 
in superstitious dread. 



Legree turned away, determined to let the point 
go for the time. 

" Well, have it your own way," he said, dog- 
gedly, to Cassy. 

" Hark, ye !" he said to Tom ; " I won't deal 
with ye now, because the business is pressing, and 
I want all my hands ; but I never forget. I '11 
score it against ye, and sometime I '11 have my 
pay out o' yer old black hide, — mind ye !" 

Legree turned, and went out. 

"There you go," said Cassy, looking darkly 
after him ; " your reckoning 's to come, yet ! — 
My poor fellow, how are you ?" 

" The Lord God hath sent his angel, and shui 
the lion's mouth, for this time," said Tom. 

" For this time, to be sure," said Cassy ; " but 
now you 've got his ill will upon you, to follow 
you day in, day out, hanging like a dog on your 
throat, — sucking your blood, bleeding away 
your life, drop by drop. I know the man." 



CHAPTER XXXVII. 

LIBERTY. 

" No matter with what solemnities he may have hcen devoted 
upon the altar of slavery, the moment he touches the sacred soil 
of Britain, the altar and the god sink together In the dust, and h» 
stands redeemed, regenerated and disenthralled, hy the irresisti- 
ble genius of universal emancipation." — Curran. 

A while we must leave Tom in the hands of 
his persecutors, while we turn to pursue the foiv 
tunes of George and his wife, whom we left in 
friendly hands, in a farm-house on the road-side, 

Tom Loker we left groaning and touzling in a 
most immaculately clean Quaker bed, under the 
motherly supervision of Aunt Dorcas, who found 
him to the full as tractable a patient as a sick 
bison. 

Imagine a tall, dignified, spiritual woman, 
whose clear muslin cap shades waves of silvery 
hair, parted on a broad, clear forehead, which 
overarches thoughtful gray eyes. A snowy hand- 
kerchief of lisse crape is folded neatly across her 
bosom ; her glossy brown silk dress rustics peace* 
fully, as she glides up and down the chamber. 

" The devil!" says Tom Loker, giving a great 
throw to the bed-clothes. 

" I must request thee, Thomas, not to use such 
language," says Aunt Dorcas, as she quietly 
rearranges the bed. 

" Well, I won't, granny, if I can help it," 
says Tom; " but it is enough to make a fellow 
swear, — so cursedly hot !" 

Dorcas removed a comforter from the bed, 
straightened the clothes again, and tucked them 
in, till Tom looked something like a chrysalis ; 
remarking, as she did so, 

" I wish, friend, thee would leave off cursing 
and swearing, and think upon thy ways." 

" What the devil," said Tom, " should I thirik 
of Ihem for ? Last thing ever / want to think of 
— hang it all!" And Tom flounced over, ui> 
tucking and disarranging everything, in-a manner 
frightful to behold. 

* " That fellow and gal are here, I s'pose," said 
he, sullenly, after. a pause. 

"They are so," said Dorcas. 

" They 'd better be off up to the lake," said 
Tom ; " the quicker the better." 

" Probably they will do so," said Aunt Dorcas, 
knitting peacefully. 

" And hark ye,' 1 said Tom; "we 've got cor- 



LIFE AMONG TIIF, LOWLY. 



143 



respondents in Sandusky, that watch the boats 
for us. I don't care if 1 tell, now. I hope they 
will get away, just to spito Marks, — the cursed 
puppy ! — d — n him !" 

•• Lhomas," said Dorcas. 

" I toll you, granny, if you bottle a fellow up 
too tight, I shall split/' said Tom. " But about 
the gal, — tell 'em to dress her up some way, 
so 's to alter her. Her description 's out in 
Sandusky." 

•• We will attend to that matter," said Dorcas, 
with characteristic composure. 

As we at this place take leave of Tom Loker, 
we may as well say, that, having lain three weeks 
at the Quaker dwelling, sick with a rheumatic 
fever, which set in, in company with his other 
afflictions, Tom arose from his bed a somewhat 
sadder and wiser man ; and, in placo of slave- 
catching, betook himself to life in one of the new 
settlements, Avhere his talents developed them- 
selves more happily in trapping bears, wolves, 
and other inhabitants of the forest, in which he 
made himself quite a name in the land. Tom 
alwavs spoke reverently of the Quakors. " Nice 
people,"' he would say ; " wanted to convert me, 
but could n't come it, exactly. But, tell yo what, 
stranger, they do fix up a sick fellow first rate, — 
no mistake. Make- jist tho tallest kind o' broth 
and knicknacks." 

As Tom had informed them that their party 
would he looked for in Sandusky, it was thought 
prudent to divide them. Jim, with his old moth- 
or, was forwarded separately ; and a night or 
two after, George and Eliza, with their child, 
were driven privately into Sandusky, and lodged 
beneath a hospitable roof, preparatory to taking 
their passage on the lake. 

Their night was now far spent, and tho morn- 
ing star of liberty rose fair before them. Liberty ! 
— electric word ! What is it? Is there anything 
more in it than a name — a rhetorical flourish ? 
Why, men and women of America, does your 
heart's blood thrill at that word, for which your 
fathers bled, and your braver mothers w r ere will- 
ing that their noblest and beat should die ? 

Is there anything in it glorious and dear for a 
nation, that is not also glorious and dear for a 
man ? What is freedom to a nation, but freedom 
to the individuals in it? What is freedom to 
that young man, who sits there, with his arms 
fqlded over his broad chest, the tint of African 
blood in his cheek, its dark fires in his eye, — 
what is freedom to George Harris ? To your fath- 
ers, freedom was the right of a nation to be a 
nation. To him, it is the right of a man to be a 
man, and not a brute ; the right to call the wife 
of his bosom his wife, and to protect her from 
lawless violence ; the right to protect and educate 
his child ; the right to have a home of his own, 
a religion of his own, a character of his own, 
unsubject to the will of another. All these 
thoughts were rolling and seething in George's 
breast, as he was pensively leaning his head on 
his hand, watching his wife, as she was adapting 
to her slender and pretty form tho articles of 
man's attire, in which it was deemed safest she 
should make her escape. 

" Now for it," said she, as she stood before the 
glass, and shook down her silky abundance of 
blacky curly hair. " I say, George, it 's almost a 
pity, is n't it," she said, as she held up s6*me of 
it, playfully, — " pity it 's all got to come off?" 

George smiled sadly, and mads no answer. 



Eliza turned to tho glass, and the scissors glit- 
tered as one long lock after another was detached 
from her head. 

11 There, now, that '11 do," she said, taking up 
a hair-brush ; " now for a few fancy touches." 

" There, an't I a pretty young fellow ?" she 
said, turning around to her husband, laughing and 
blushing at the same time. 

"You always will be pretty, do what you 
will," said Gteorge. 

" What does make you so sober?" said Eliza, 
kneeling on one knee, and laying her hand on his. 
" Wo are only within twenty-four hours of Can- 
ada, they say. Only a day and a night on the 
lake, and then — 0, then ! — " 

"0, Eliza \y said George, drawing her towards 
him ; " that is it ! Now my fate is all narrowing 
down to a point. To come so near, to be almost 
in sight, and then lose all. I should never live 
under it, Eliza." 

" Don't fear," said his wife, hopefully. " The 
good Lord would not have brought us so far, if 
he didn't mean to carry us through. I seem to 
feel him with us, George." 

"You are a blessed woman, Eliza!" said 
George, clasping her with a convulsive grasp- 
"But, — 0, tell me! can this great mercy be 
for us 1 Will these years and years of misery 
come to an end? — shall we be free?" 

" I am sure of it, George," said Eliza, looking 
upward, while tears of hope and enthusiasm 
shone on her long, dark lashes. " I feel it in 
me, that God is going to bring us out of bondage, 
this very day." 

" I will believe you, Eliza," said George, rising 
suddenly up. " I will believe, — come, let 's be 
off. Well, indeed," said he, holding her off at 
arm's length, and looking admiringly at her, 
" you are a pretty little fellow. That crop of 
little, short curls, is quite becoming. Put on 
your cap. So — a little to one side. I never saw 
you look quite so pretty. But, it 's almost time 
for the carriage ; — I wonder if Mrs. Smyth has 
got Harry rigged ? " - 

The door opened, and a respectable, middle- 
aged woman entered, leading little Harry, dressed 
in girl's clothes. 

"What a pretty girl he makes ! " said Eliza, 
turning him round. " We call him Harriet, 
you see ; — ■ don't the name come nicely ?" 

The child stood gravely regarding his mother in 
her new and strange attire, observing a profound 
silence, and occasionally drawing deep sighs, and 
peeping at her from under his dark curls. 

"Does Harry know mamma?" said Eliza, * 
stretching her hands toward him. , 

The child clung shyly to the woman. 

" Come, Eliza, why do you try to coax him, 
when you know that he has got to be kept away 
from you?" 

"I know it 's foolish," said Eliza; "yet I 
can't bear to have him turn away from me. But 
come, — where 's my cloak ? Here, — how is it 
men put on cloaks, George?" 

" You must wear it so," said her husband, 
throwing it over his shoulders. 

" So, then," said Eliza, imitating tho motion, 
— "and I must stamp, and take long steps, and 
try to look saucy." 

" Don't exert yourself," said George. " There 
is, now and then, a modest young man ; and I 
think it would be easier for you t:> act that char- 
acter." 



144 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR, 



"And these gloves! mercy upon us!" said 
Eliza ; " why, my hands are lost in them." 

" I advise you to keep them on pretty strictly," 
said George. '• Your little slender paw might 
bring us all out. Now, Mrs. Smyth, you are to 
go under our charge, and be our aunty, — you 
mind." 

" I 've heard," said Mrs. Smyth, " that there 
have been men down, warning all the packet 
captains against a man and woman, •with a little 
boy." 

"They have!" said George. " Well, if we 
see any such people, we can tell them." 

A hack now drove to the door, and the friendly 
family who had received the fugitives crowded 
around them with farewell greetings. 

The disguises the party had assumed were in 
accordance with the hints of Tom Loker. Mrs. 
Smyth, a respectable woman from the settlement 
in Canada, whither they were fleeing, being for- 
tunately about crossing the lake to return thither, 
had consented* to appear as the aunt of little 
Harry, and, in order to attach him to her, he had 
been allowed to remain, the two last days, under 
her sole charge ; and an extra amount of petting, 
joined to an indefinite amount of seed-cakes and 
candy, had cemented a very close attachment on 
the part of the young gentleman. 

The hack drove to the wharf. The two young 
men, as they appeared, walked up the plank into 
the boat, Eliza gallantly giving her arm to Mrs. 
Smyth, and George attending to their baggage. 

Oeorge was standing at the captain's office set- 
tling for his party, when he overheard two, men 
talking by his side. 

" I 've watched every one that came on board, 
said one, " and I know they 're not on this boat." 

The voice was that of the clerk of the boat. 
The speaker whom he addressed was our sometime 
friend Marks, who, with that valuable persever- 
ance which characterized him, had come on to 
Sandusky, seeking whom he might devour. 

" You would scarcely know the woman from a 
white one," said Marks. " The man is a very 
light mulatto ; he has a brand in one of his 
hands." 

The hand with which George was taking the 
tickets and change trembled a little, but he turned 
coolly around, fixed an unconcerned glance on the 
face of the speaker, and walked leisurely toward 
another part of the boat, where Eliza stood wait- 
ing for him. 

Mrs. Smyth, with little Harry, sought the seclu- 
sion of the ladies' cabin, where the dark beauty 
of the supposed little girl drew many flattering 
comments from the passengers. 

George had the satisfaction, as the bell rang 
out its farewell peal, to see Marks walk down the 
plank to the shore, and drew a long sigh of relief 
when the boat had put a returnless distance be- 
tween them. 

It was a superb day. The blue waves of Lake 
Erie danced, rippling and sparkling, in the sun- 
light. A fresh breeze blew from the shore, and 
the lordly boat ploughed her way right gallantly 
onward. 

0, what an untold world there is in one human 
heart ! Who thought, as George walked calmly 
up and down the deck of the steamer, with his 
shy companion at his side, of all that was burn- 
ing in his bosom 1 The mighty good that seemed 
approaching seemed too good, too fair, ever to be 
a reality ; and he felt a jealous dread, every mo- 



ment of the day, that something would rise V, 
snatch it from him. 

But the boat swept on. Hours fleeted, and, at 
last, clear and full rose the blessed English shores ; 
shores charmed by a mighty spell, — with ona 
touch to dissolve every incantation of slavery, no 
matter in what language pronounced, or by what 
national power confirmed. 

George and his wife stood arm in arm, as the 
boat neared the small town of Amherstberg, in 
Canada. His breath grew thick arid short ; a mist 
gathered before his eyes, he silently pressed the 
little hand that lay trembling on his arm. The 
bell rang ; the boat stopped. Scarcely seeing what 
he did, he looked out his baggage, and gathered 
his little party. The little company were landed 
on the shore. They stood still till the boat had 
cleared ; and then, with tears and embracings, the 
husband and wife, with their wondering child in 
their arms, knelt down and lifted up their hearts 
to God ! 

" 'Twas something like the burst from death to life, 
From the grave's cerements to the robes of heaven , 

From sin's duminion, and from passion's strife, 
To the pure freedom of a soul forgiven ; 
Where all the bonds of death and hell are riven, 

And mortal puts on immortality, 

When Mercy's hand hath turned the golden key, 

And Mercy's voice hath said, Rejoice, thy soul is free.'* 

The little party were soon guided, by Mrs 
Smyth, to the hospitable abode of a good mission 
ary, whom Christian charity has placed here as a 
shepherd to the outcast and wandering, who art, 
constantly finding an asylum on this shore. 

Who can speak the blessedness of that first day 
of freedom 1 Is not the sense of liberty a higher 
and a finer one than any of the five 1 To move, 
speak and breathe, go out and come in, un- 
watched, and free from danger ! Who can speak 
the blessings of that rest which comes down on 
the freeman's pillow, under laws which insure to 
him the rights that God has given to man ? How 
fair and precious to that mother was that sleeping ' 
child's face, endeared by the memory of a thou- 
sand dangers ! How impossible was it to sleep, 
in the exuberant possession of such blessedness ! 
And yet, these two had not one acre of ground, — 
not a roof that they could call their own, — they 
had spent their all, to the last dollar. They had 
nothing more than the birds of the air, or the 
flowers of the field, — yet they could not sleep for 
joy. " 0, ye who take freedom from man, with 
what words shall ye answer it to God ?" 



CHAPTER XXXVIII. 

THE VICTORY. 
"Thanks be unto God, who giveth us the victory." 

Have not many of us, in the weary way of life, 
felt, in some hours, how far easier it were to die 
than to live ? 

The martyr, when faced even by a death of 
bodily anguish and horror, finds in the very terror 
of his doom a strong stimulant and tonic. There 
is a vivid excitement, a thrill and fervor, which 
may carry through any crisis of suffering that is 
the birth-hour of eternal glory and rest. 

But to live, — to wear on, day after day, of 
mean, fritter, low, harassing servitude, every nerve 
dampened and depressed, every power of feeling 
gradually smothered, — this long and wasting 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



145 



heart-martyrdom, this slow, daily bleeding away 
of the inward life, drop by drop, hour after hour, 
— this is the true searching test of what there 
may be in man or woman. 

When Tmn stood face to face with his perse- 
cutor, and heard his threats, and thought in his 
very soul that his hour was come, his heart swelled 
bravely in him, and he thought he could bear tor- 
ture and fire, bear anything, with the vision of 
Jesus and heaven but just a step beyond ; hut, 
when he was gone, and the present excitement 
passed off, came back the pain of his bruised and 
weary limbs, — came back the sense of his utterly 
degraded, hopeless, forlorn estate ; and the day 
passed wearily enough. 

LoRg before his wounds were healed, Legree 
insisted that he should be put to the regular (ield- 
work ;. and then came day after day of pain and 
weariness, aggravated by every kind of injustice 
and indignity that the ill-will of a mean and ma- 
licious mind could devise. Whoever, in our cir- 
cumstances, has made a trial of pain, even with 
all the alleviations which, for us, usually attend 
it, must know the irritation that comes with it. 
Tom no longer wondered at the habitual surliness 
of his associates ; nay, he found the placid, sunny 
temper, which had been the habitude of his life, 
broken in on, and sorely strained, by the inroads 
of the same thing. He had flattered himself on 
leisure to read his Bible ; but there was no such 
thing as leisure there. In the height of the sea- 
son, Legree did not hesitate to press all his hands 
through, Sundays and week-days alike. Why 
should n't he ? — he made more cotton by it, and 
gained his wager ; and if it wore out a few more 
hands, he could buy better ones. At first, Tom 
used to read a verse or two of his Bible, by the 
flicker of the fire, after he had returned from his 
daily toil ; but, after the cruel treatment he re- 
ceived, he used to come home so exhausted, that 
his head swam and his eyes failed when he tried 
to read ; and he was fain to stretch himself down, 
with the others, in utter exhaustion. 

Is it strange that the religious peace and trust, 
which had upborne him hitherto, should give way 
to tossings of soul and despondent darkness? 
The gloomiest problem of this mysterious life was 
constantly before his eyes, — souls crushed and 
ruined, evil triumphant, and God silent. Tt was 
weeks and months that Tom wrestled, in his own 
soul, in darkness and sorrow. He thought of 
Miss Ophelia's letter to his Kentucky friends, 
and would pray earnestly that God would send 
him deliverance. And then he would watch, day 
after day, in the vague hope of seeing somebody 
sent to redeem him ; and, when nobody came, he 
would crush back to his soul bitter thoughts, — 
that it was vain to serve God, that God had for- 
gotten him. He sometimes saw Gassy ; and 
sometimes, when summoned to the house, caught a 
glimpse of the dejected form of Emmeline, but held 
very little communion with either ; in fact, there 
was no time for him to commune with anybody. 

One evening, he was sitting, in utter dejection 
and prostration, by a feAV decaying brands, where 
his coarse supper was baking. He put a few bits 
of brushwood on the fire, and strove to raise the 
light, and then drew his worn Bible from his 
pocket. There were all the marked passages, 
which had thrilled his soul so often, — words of 
patriarchs and seers, poets and sages, who from 
early time had spoken courage toman, — voices 
from the great cloud of witnesses who ever sur- 
10 



round us in the race of life. Had the word 
lost its power, or could the failing, eye and weary 
sense no longer answer to the touch of that 
mighty inspiration ? Heavily sighing, he put it 
in his pocket. A coarse laugh roused him ; he 
looked up, — Legree was standing opposite to 
him. 

*' Well, old boy," he said, " you find your re- 
ligion don't work, it seems ! I thought I should 
get that through your wool, at last!" 

The cruel taunt was more than hunger and cold 
and nakedness. Tom was silent. 

" You were a fool," said Legree ; " for I meant 
to do well by you, when I bought you. You 
might have been better off than Sambo, or Quimbo 
either, and had easy times ; and, instead of get- 
ting cut up and thrashed, every day or two, ye 
might have had liberty to lord it round, and cut up 
the other niggers ; and ye might have had, now 
and then, a good warming of whiskey punch. 
Come, Tom, don't you think you 'd better be rea- 
sonable 1 — heave that ar old pack of trash in the 
fire, and join my church !" 

" The Lord forbid !" said Tom, fervently. 

" You see the Lord an't going to help you ; if 
he had been, he wouldn't have let me get you ! 
This yer religion is all a mess of lying trumpery, 
Tom. I know all about it. Ye 'd better hold tc 
me ; I 'm somebody, and can do something !" 

" No, Mas'r," said Tom ; " I'll hold on. The 
Lord may help me or not ; but I '11 hold to him 
and believe him to the last !" 

"The more fool you!" said Legree, spitting 
scornfully at him, and spurning him with his foot. 
"Never mind; I'll chase you down, yet, and 



you'll see!" and 



Legree 



bring you under, 
turned away. 

When a heavy weight presses the soul to the 
lowest level at which endurance is possible, there 
is an instant and desperate effort of every phys- 
ical and moral nerve to throw off the weight ; and 
hence the heaviest anguish often precedes a return 
tide of joy and courage. So was it now with Tom. 
The atheistic taunts of his cruel master sunk his 
before dejected soul to the lowest ebb ; and, though 
the hand of faith still held to the eternal rock, it 
was with a numb, despairing grasp. Tom sat, like 
one stunned, at the fire. Suddenly everything 
around him seemed to fade, and a vision rose be- 
fore him of one crowned with thorns, buffeted and 
bleeding. Tom gazed, in awe and wonder, at 
the majestic patience of the face ; the deep, pa- 
thetic eyes thrilled him to his inmost heart ; his 
soul woke, as, with floods of emotion, he stretched 
out his hands and fell upon his knees, —when, 
gradually, the vision changed : the shary thorns 
became rays of glory ; and, in splendor incon- 
ceivable, he saw that same face bending compas- 
sionately towards him, and a voice said, "He 
that overcometh shall sit down with me on my 
throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down 
with my Father on his throne." 

How long Tom lay there, he knew not. When 
he came to himself, the fire was gone out, his 
clothes were wet with the chill and drenching 
dews ; but the dread soul-crisis was past, and, in 
the joy that filled him, he no longer felt hunger, 
cold, degradation, disappointment, wretchedness. 
From his deepest soul, he that hour loosed and 
parted from every hope in the life that now is, 
and offered his own will an unquestioning sacri- 
fice to. the Infinite. Tom looked up to the silent, 
ever-living stars, — types of the angelic hosts who 



146 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN I OR, 



ever look down on man ; and the solitude of the 
night rung with the triumphant words of a hymn, 
which he had sung often in happier days, but 
never with such feeling as now : 

" The earth shall be dissolved like snow, 
The sun shall cease to shine; 
But God, who called me here below, 
Shall be forever mine. 

" And when this mortal life shall fail, 
And flesh and sense shall cease, 
I shall possess within the veil 
A life of joj and peace. 

" When we 've been there ten thousand years, 
Bright shining like the sun, 
We 've no less days to sing God's praise 
Than when wo first begun." 

Those who have been familiar with the reli- 
gious histories of the slave population know that 
relations like what we have narrated are very 
common among them. We have heard some 
from their own lips, of a very touching and affect- 
ing character. The psychologist tells us of a 
state, in which the affections and images of the 
mind become so dominant and overpowering, that 
they press into their service the outward senses, 
and make them give tangible shape to the inward 
imagining. Who shall measure what an all-per- 
vading Spirit may do with these capabilities of 
our mortality, or the ways in which He may en- 
courage the desponding souls of the desolate? 
If the poor forgotten slave believes that Jesus 
hath appeared and spoken to him, who shall con- 
tradict him ? Did He not say that his mission, 
in all ages, was to bind up the broken-hearted, 
and set at liberty them that are bruised ? 

When the dim gray of dawn woke the slumber- 
ers to go forth to the field, there was among those 
tattered and shivering wretches one who walked 
with an exultant tread ; for firmer than the ground 
he trod on was his strong faith in Almighty, 
eternal love. Ah, Legree, try all your forces 
now ! Utmost agony, woe, degradation, want, 
and loss of all things, shall only hasten on the 
process by which he shall be made a king and a 
priest unto God ! 

From this time, an inviolable sphere of peace 
encompassed the lowly heart of the oppressed 
one, — an ever-present Saviour hallowed it as a 
temple. Past now the bleeding of earthly re- 
grets ; past its fluctuations of hope, and fear, and 
desire ; the human will, bent, and bleeding, and 
struggling long, Avas now entirely merged in the 
divine. So short now seemed the remaining voy- 
age of life, — so near, so vivid, seemed eternal 
blessedness, — that life's uttermost woes fell from 
him unharming. 

All noticed the change in his appearance. 
Cheerfulness and alertness seemed to return to 
him, and a quietness which no insult or injury 
could ruffle seemed to possess him. 

" What the devil 's got into Tom?" Legree said 
to Sambo. " A while ago he was all down in 
the mouth, and now he 's peart as a cricket." 

•" Dunno, Mas'r; gwine to run off, mebbe." 
" Like to see him try that," said Legree, with 
a, savage grin, " wouldn't we, Sambo?" 

"Guess we would! Haw! haw! ho!" said 
the sooty gnome, laughing obsequiously. ** Lord, 
de fun ! To see him stickin' in de mud, — chasin' 
and tarin' through de bushes, dogs a holdia' on 
to him ! Lord, I laughed fit to split, dat ar time 



we cotched Molly. I thought they 'd a had he/ 
all stripped up afore I could get 'em off. SliO 
car's de marks o' dat ar spree yet." 

" I reckon she will, to her grave," said Legree. 
"But now, Sambo, you look sharp. If the nig- 
ger 's got anything of this sort going, trip him 
up." 

"Mas'r, let me lone for dat," said Sambo. 
" I '11 tree de coon. Ho, ho, ho !" . 

This was spoken as Legree was getting on to 
his horse, to go to the neighboring town. That 
night, as he was returning, he thought he would 
turn his horse and ride round the quarters, and 
see if all was safe. 

It was a superb moonlight night, and the shad- 
ows of the graceful China trees lay minutely 
pencilled on the turf below, and there was that 
transparent stillness in the air which it seems 
almost unholy to disturb. Legree was at a littLe 
distance from the quarters, when he heard the 
voice of some one singing. It was not a usual 
sound there, and he paused to listen. A musica, 
tenor voice sang, 

M When I can read my title clear 
To mansions in the skies, 
I '11 bid farewell to every fear, 
And wipe my weeping eyes. 

"Should earth against my soul engage, 
And hellish darts be hurled, 
Then I can smile at Satan's rage, 
And face a frowning world. 

'* Let cares like a wild deluge come, 
And storms of sorrow fall, 
May I but safely reach my home, 
My God, my Heaven, my All." 

"Soho!"«said legree to himself, "he thinks 
so, does he ? How l hate these cursed Methodist 
hymns ! Here, you nigger," said he, coming sud- 
denly out upon Tom, and raising his riding-whip, 
" how dare you be gettin' up this yer row, when 
you ought to be in bed ? Shut yer old black gash 
and get along in with you !" 

" Yes, Mas'r," said Tom, with ready cheerful- 
ness, as he rose to go in. 

Legree was provoked beyond measure by Tom's 
evident happiness ; and, riding up to him, bela- 
bored him over his head and shoulders. 

" There, you dog," he said, " see if you '11 feel 
so comfortable, after that !" 

But the blows fell now only on the outer man, 
and not, as before, on the heart. Tom stood per- 
fectly submissive ; and yet Legree could not hide 
from himself that his power over his bond-thrall 
was somehow gone. And, as Tom disappeared 
in his cabin, and he wheeled his horse suddenly 
round, there passed through.liis mind one of those 
vivid flashes that often send the lightning of con- 
science across the dark and wicked soul. He 
understood full well that it was God who was 
standing between him and his victim, and he 
blasphemed him. That submissive and silent 
man, whom taunts, nor threats, nor stripes, no» 
cruelties, could disturb, roused a voice within 
him, such as of old his Master roused in the 
demoniac soul, saying, " What have we to do 
with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? — art thou 
come to torment us before the time?" 

Tom's whole soul overflowed with compassion 
and sympathy for the poor wretches by whom he 
was surrounded. To him it seemed as if his life- 
sorrows were now over, and as if, out of that 
strange treasury of pejace and joy, with which he 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 



147 



had been endowed from above, he longed to pour 
out something for the relief of their woes. It is 
true, opportunities were scanty; but, on the way 
to the fields, and back again, and during the 
hours of labor, chances fell in his way of extend- 
ing a helping-hand to the weary, the disheartened 
and discouraged. The poor, worn-down, brutal- 
ized creatures, at first, could scarce comprehend 
this ; but, when it was continued week after week, 
and month after month , it began to awaken long- 
silent chords in their benumbed hearts. Grad- 
ually and imperceptibly the strange, silent, pa- 
tient man, who was ready to bear every one's 
burden, and sought help from none, — who stood 
aside for all, and came last, and took least, yet 
was foremost to share his little all with any who 
needed, — the man who, in cold nights, would 
give up his tattered blanket to add to the comfort 
of some woman who shivered with sickness, and 
who filled the baskets of the weaker ones in the 
field, at the terrible risk of coming short in his 
own measure, — and who, though pursued with 
unrelenting cruelty by their common tyrant, never 
joined in uttering a word of reviling or cursingf 
> — this man, at last, began to have a strange 
power over them ; and, when the more pressing 
season was past, and they were allowed again 
their Sundays for their own use, many would 
gather together to hear from him of Jesus. They 
would gladly have met to hear, and pray, and 
sing, in some place, together ; but Legree would 
not permit it, and more than once broke up such 
attempts, with oaths and brutal execrations, — 
so that the blessed news had to circulate from 
individual to individual. Yet who can speak the 
simple joy with which some of those poor out- 
casts, to whom life was a joyless journey to a dark 
unknown, heard of a compassionate Redeemer 
and a heavenly home? It is the statement of 
missionaries, that, of all raees of the earth, none 
have received the Gospel with such eager docility 
as the African. The principle of reliance and 
unquestioning faith, which is its foundation, is 
more a native element in this race than any other ; 
and it has often been found among them, that a 
stray seed of truth, borne on some breeze of ac- 
cident into hearts the most ignorant, has sprung 
up into fruit, whose abundance has shamed that 
of higher and more skilful culture. 

The poor mulatto woman, whose simple faith had 
been well-nigh crushed and overwhelmed, by the 
avalanche of cruelty and wrong which had fallen 
upon her, felt her soul raised up by the hymns and 
passages of Holy Writ, which this lowly missionary 
breathed into her ear in intervals, as they were 

foing to and returning from work ; and even the 
alf-crazed and wandering mind of Cassy was 
soothed and calmed by his simple and unobtrusive 
influences. 

Stung to madness and ' despair by the crushing 
agonies of a life, Cassy had often resolved in her 
soul an hour of retribution, when her hand should 
avenge on her oppressor all the injustice and 
Cruelty to which she had oeen witness, or which 
sjic had in her own person suffered. 

One night, after all in Tom's cabin were sunk 
in sleep, he was suddenly aroused by seeing her 
face at the hole between the loss that served 
for a window, 
to come out. 

Tom came out the door. It was between one 
and two o'clock at night, — broad, calm, still 
moonlight. Tom remarked, as the light of the 



She made a silent gesture for him 



moon fell upon Cassy's large, black eyes, that 
there was a wild and peculiar glare in them, 
unlike their wonted fixed despair. 

"Come here, Father Tom," she said, laying 
her small hand on his wrist, and drawing him 
forward with a force as if the hand were of steel ; 
" come here, — I 've news for you." 

" What, Misse Cassy?" said Tom, anxiously. 

" Tom, would n't you like your liberty?" 

" I shall have it, Misse, in God's time," said 
Tom. 

"Ay, but you may have it to-night," said 
Cassy, with a flash of sudden energy. ' ' Come on ! " 

Tom hesitated. 

"Come!" said she, in a whisper, fixing her 
black eyes on him. " Come along ! He 's 
asleep — sound. I put enough into his brandy to 
keep him so. I wish I 'd had more, — I should n't 
have wanted you. But come, the back door is 
unlocked ; there 's an axe there, — I put it there, 
— his room door is open ; I '11 show you the way, 
I'da done it myself, only my arms are so weak. 
Come along !" 

" Not for ten thousand worlds, Misse !" said 
Tom, firmly, stopping and holding her back, as 
she was pressing forward. 

" But think of all these poor creatures," said 
Cassy. " We might set them all free, and go 
somewhere in the swamps, and find an island, 
and live by ourselves ; I 've heard of its being 
done. Any life is better than this." 

"No!" said Tom, firmly. "No! good never 
comes of wickedness. I 'd sooner chop my right 
hand off!" 

" Then /shall do it," ^aid Cassy, turning. 

"0, Misse Cassy!" said Tom, throwing him- 
self before her, " for the dear Lord's sake that 
died for ye, don't sell your precious soul to the 
devil, that way ! Nothing but evil will come of 
it. The Lord has n't called us to wrath. We 
must suffer, and wait his time." 

" Wait !" said Cassy. ''- Have n't I waited ? — 
waited till my head is diz>;y and my heart sick ? 
What has . he made me suffer? What has he 
made hundreds of poor creatures suffer ? Is n't he 
wringing the life-blood out of you ? I 'm called 
on ; they call me ! His time 's come, and I '11 
have his heart's blood !" 

" No, no, no !" said Tom, holding her small 
hands, which were clenched with spasmodic vio- 
lence. " No, ye poor, lost soul, that ye must n't 
do. The dear, blessed Lord never shed no blood 
but his own, and that he poured out for us when 
we was enemies. Lord, help us to follow his steps, 
and love our enemies !" 

"Love!" said Cassy, with a fierce glare; 
" love such enemies ! It is n't in flesh and blood." 

" No, Misse, it isn't," said Tom, looking up ; 
" but He gives it to us, and that 's the vitfnry. 
When we can love and pray over all and through 
all, the battle 's past, and the victory *s come, — 
glory be to God!" And, with streaming eyes 
and choking voice, the black man looked up to 
heaven; 

And this, Africa ! latest called of nations, — 
called to the crown of thorns, the scourge, the 
bloody sweat, the cross of agony, — this is to be 
thy victory ; by this shalt thou reign with 
Christ when his kingdom shall come on earth ! 

The deep fervor of Tom's feelings, the softness 
of his voice, his tears, fell like dew on the wild, 
unsettled spirit of the poor woman. A softness 
gathered over the birid fires of her eye : sh- 



148 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR, 



looked down, and Tom could feel the relaxing 
muscles of her hands, as she said, 

"Didrf't I tell you that evil spirits followed 
me? 0' Father Tom, I can't pray, — I wish I 
could. I never have prayed since my children 
were sold ! What you say must be right, I know 
it must ; but, when I try to pray, I can only hate 
and curse. I can't pray !" 

"Poor soul!" said Tom, compassionately. 
u Satan desires to have ye, and sift ye as wheat. 
I pray the Lord for ye. ! Misse Cassy, turn to 
the dear Lord Jesus ! He came to bind up the 
broken-hearted, and comfort all that mourn." 

Cassy stood silent, while large, heavy tears 
dropped from her downcast eyes. 

" Misse Cassy," said Tom, in a hesitating tone, 
after surveying her a moment in silence, " if ye 
only could get away from here, — if the thing was 
possible, — I 'd 'vise ye and Emmeline to do it ; 
that is, if ye could go without blood-guiltiness, — 
not otherwise." 

" Would you try it with us, Father Tom V 

" No," said Tom ; " time was when I would; 
but the Lord 's given me a work among these 
yer poor souls, and I '11 stay with 'em and bear 
my cross with 'em till the end. It 's different 
with you ; it 's a snare to you, — it 's more 'n you 
can stand, — and you 'd better go, if you can." 

" I know no way but through the grave," said 
Cassy> " There 's no beast or bird but can find a 
home" somewhere ; even the snakes and the alli- 
gators have their places to lie down and be quiet ; 
but there 's no place for us. Down in the dark- 
est swamps, their dogs will hunt us out, and find 
us. Everybody and everything is against us, — 
even the very beasts side against us, — and where 
shall we go?" 

Tom stood silent ; at length he said, 

" Him that saved Daniel in the den of lions, — 
that saved the children in the fiery furnace, — 
Him that walked on the sea, and bade the winds 
be still, — He 's alive yet; and I 've faith to be- 
lieve he can deliver you. Try it, and • I '11 pray, 
with all my might, for you." 

By what strange law of mind is it that an idea 
long overlooked, and trodden under foot as a use- 
less stone, suddenly sparkles out in new light, as 
a discovered diamond ? 

Cassy had often revolved, for hours, all possible 
or probable schemes of escape, and dismissed them 
all, as hopeless and impracticable ; but at this 
moment there flashed through her mind apian, so 
simple and feasible in all its details, as to awaken 
an instant hope. 

" Father Tom, I '11 try it !" she said, suddenly. 

" Amen !" said Tom ; " the Lord help ye !" 



CHAPTER XXXIX. 



THE STRATAGEM. 



" The way of the wicked is as darkness ; he knoweth not at 
what h<* stumbleth." 

The garret of the house that Legree occupied, 
like most other garrets, was a great, desolate 
space, dusty, hung with cobwebs, and littered 
with cast-off lumber. The opulent family that 
had inhabited the house in the days of its splen- 
dor had imported a great deal of splendid furni- 
ture, some, of which they had taken away with 
them, while some remained standing desolate in 
mouldering, unoccupied rooms, or stored away in 



this place. One cr two immense packing-boxes 
in which this furniture was brought, stood against 
the sides of the garret. There was a small win- 
dow there, which let in, through its dingy, dusty 
panes, a scanty, uncertain light on the tall high- 
backed chairs and dusty tables, that had once 
seen better days. Altogether, it was a weird and 
ghostly place ; but, ghostly as it was, it wanted 
not in legends among the superstitious negroes, 
to increase its terrors. Some few years before, a 
negro woman, who had incurred Legree's dis- 
pleasure, was confined there for several weeks. 
What passed there we do not say ; the negroes 
used to whisper darkly to each other ; but it was 
known that the body of the unfortunate creature 
was one day taken down from there, and buried ; 
and, after that, it was said that oaths and curs- 
ings, and the sound of violent blows, used to ring 
through that old garret, and mingled with wait- 
ings and groans of despair. Once, when Legree 
chanced to overhear something of this kind, he 
flew into a violent passion, and swore that the 
next one that told stories about that garret should 
have an opportunity of knowing what was there, 
for he would chain them up there for a week. 
This hint was enough to repress talking, though, 
of course, it did not disturb the credit of the story 
in the least. 

Gradually, the staircase that led to the garret, 
and even the passage-way to the staircase, were 
avoided by every one in the house, from every one 
fearing to speak of it, and the legend was gradually 
falling into desuetude. It had suddenly occurred 
to Cassy to make use of the superstitious excita- 
bility, which was so great in Legree, for the pur- 
pose of her liberation, and that of her fellow- 
sufferer. 

The sleeping-room of Cassy was directly under 
the garret. One day, without consulting Legree, 
she suddenly took it upon her, with some consid- 
erable ostentation, to change all the furniture 
and appurtenances of the room to one at some con- 
siderable distance. The under-servants, who were 
called on to effect this movement, were running 
and bustling about with great zeal and confusion, 
when Legree returned from a ride. 

" Hallo ! you Cass !" said Legree, " what 's 
in the wind now?" 

"Nothing; only I choose to have another 
room," said Cassy, doggedly. 

" And what for, pray?" said Legree. 

" I choose to," said Cassy. 

" The devil you do ! and what for?j' 

" I 'd like to get some sleep, now and then." 

" Sleep ! well, what hinders your sleeping?" 

" I could tell, I suppose, if you want to hear," 
said Cassy, dryly. 

" Speak out, you minx !" said Legree. 

" ! nothing. I suppose it wouldn't disturb 
you! Only groans, and people scuffling, and 
rolling round on the garret floor, half the night, 
from twelve to morning !" 

"People up garret!" said Legree, uneasily, 
but forcing a laugh ; " who are they, Cassy?" 

Cassy raised her sharp, black eyes, and looked 
in the face of Legree, with an expression that 
went through his bones, as she said, "To be 
sure, Simon, who are they? I'd like to have 
you tell me. You don't know, I suppose !" 

With an oath, Legree struck at her with his 
riding-whip ; but she glided to one side, and 
passed through the door, and looking back, said, 
" If you '11 sleep in that room, you '11 know all 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



149 



about it. Perhaps you'd better try it!" and 
then immediately she shut and locked the door. 

Legree blustered and swore, and threatened to 
':reak down the door ; but apparently thought 
better of it, and walked uneasily into the sitting- 
room. Cassy perceived that her shaft had struck 
home ; and, from that hour, with the most ex- 
quisite address, she never ceased to continue the 
train of influences she had begun. 

In a knot-hole in the garret she had inserted 
the neck of an old bottle, in such a manner that 
when there was the least wind most doleful and 
lugubrious w^ailing sounds proceeded from it, 
which, in a high wind, increased to a perfect 
shriek, such as to credulous and superstitious 
ears might easily seem to be that of horror and 
despair. 

These sounds were, from time to time, heard 
by the servants, and revived in full force the 
memory of the old ghost legend. A superstitious 
creeping horror seemed to fill the house ; and 
though no one dared to breathe it to Legree, he 
found himself encompassed by it, as by an atmos- 
phere. 

No one is so thoroughly superstitious as the 
godless man. The Christian is composed by the 
belief of a wise, all-ruling Father, whose pres- 
ence fills the void unknown with light and order ; 
but to the man who has dethroned God, the spirit- 
land is, indeed, in the words of the Hebrew poet, 
" a land of darkness and the shadow of death," 
without any order, where the light is as darkness. 
Life and death to him are haunted grounds, filled 
with goblin forms of vague and shadowy dread. 

Legree had had the slumbering* moral element 
in him roused by his encounters with Tom, — 
roused, only to be resisted by the determinate 
force of evil ; but still there was a thrill and 
commotion of the dark inner world, produced by 
every word, or prayer, or hymn, that reacted in 
superstitious dread. The influence of 'Cassy over 
him was of a strange and singular kind. He was 
her owner, her tyrant and tormentor. She was, 
as he knew, wholly, and without any possibility 
of help or redress, in his hands ; and yet so it 
is, that the most brutal man cannot live in con- 
stant association with a strong female influence, 
and not be greatly controlled by it. When he 
first bought her, she was, as she had said, a 
woman delicately bred ; and then he crushed 
her, without scruple, beneath the foot of his bru- 
tality. But, as time, and debasing influences, and 
despair, hardened womanhood within her, and 
waked the fires of fiercer passions, she had be- 
come in a measure his mistress, and he alter- 
nately tyrannized over and dreaded her. 

This influence had become more harassing and 
decided since partial insanity had given a strange, 
weird, unsettled cast to all her words and lan- 
guage^ 

A night or two after this, Legree was sitting 
in the old sitting-room, by the side of a flickering 
wood fire, that threw uncertain glances round the 
room. It was a stormy, windy night, such as 
raises whole squadrons of nondescript noises in 
rickety old houses. Windows were rattling, 
shutters flapping, the wind carousing, rumbling, 
and tumbling down the chimney, and, every once 
in a while, puffing out smokte and ashes, as if a 
legion of spirits were coming after them. Le- 
gree had been casting up accounts and reading 
newspapers for some hours, while Cassy sat in 
the corner, sullenly looking into the fire. Lagree 



laid down his paper, and seeing an old book 
lying on the table, which he had noticed Cassy 
reading, the first part of the evening, took it up, 
and began to turn it over. It was one of those 
collections of stories of bloody murders, ghostly 
legends, and supernatural visitations, which, 
coarsely got up and illustrated, have a strange 
fascination for one who once begins to read them. 

Legree poohed and pished, but read, turning 
page after page, till, finally, after reading some 
way, he threw down the book, with an oath. 

" You don't believe in ghosts, do you, Cass?" 
said he, taking the tongs and settling the fire. 
" I thought you 'd more sense than to let noises 
scare you.'' 

" No matter what I believe," said Cassy, sul- 
lenly. 

" Fellows used to try to frighten me with their 
yarns at sea," said Legree. "Never come it 
round me that way. I 'm too tough for any such 
trash, tell ye." 

Cassy sat looking intensely at him in the 
shadow of the corner. There was that strange 
light in her eyes that always impressed Legree 
with uneasiness. 

" Them noises was nothing but rats and the 
wind," said Legree. "Rats will make a devil 
of a noise. I used to hear 'em sometimes down 
in the hold of the ship; and wind, — Lord's 
sake ! ye can make anything out o' wind." 

Cassy knew Legree was uneasy under her eyes, 
and, therefore, she made no answer, but sat fix- 
ing them on him, with that strange, unearthly 
expression, as before 

" Come, speak ou\, woman, — don't you think 
so?" said Legree. 

" Can rats walk down stairs, and come walk- 
ing through the entry, and open a door when 
you've locked it and set a chair against it?" 
said Cassy; "and come walk, walk, walking 
right up to your bed, and put out their hand so?" 

Cassy kept her glittering eyes fixed on Legree, 
as she spoke, and he stared at her like a man in 
the nightmare, till, when she finished by laying 
her hand, icy cold, on his, he sprung back, with 
an oath. 

"Woman! what do ycu mean? Nobody 
did?" — 

"0, no,; — of course not, —did I say they 
did?" said Cassy, with a smile of chilling de- 
rision. 

"But — did — have you really seen? — Come, 
Cass, what is it, now, — speak out !" 

"You may sleep there yourself," said Cassy, 
" if you want to know." 

" Did it come from the garret, Cassy?" 

"It — what?" said Cassy. 

" Why, what you told of-- " 

" I did n't tell you anything," said Cass^, with 
doggad sullenness. 

Legree walked up and down the room, uneasily. 

" I 'U have this yer thing examined. I '11 look 
into it, this very night. I 11 take my pistols — " 
' " Do," said Cassy ; " sleep in that room. I 'd 
like to see you doing it. Fire your pistols, — 
do!" 

Legree stamped his foot, and swore violently. 

" Don't swear," said Cassy ; " nobody knows 
who may be hearing you. Hark! What waa 
that?" 

" What?" said Legree, starting. 

A heavy old Dutch clock, that stood in the cor- 
ner of the room, began, and si iwiy struck twelves. 



150 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR, 



For some reason or other, Legree neither spoke 
nor moved ; a vague horror fell on him ; while 
Cassy, with a keen, sneering glitter in her eyes, 
stood looking at him, counting the strokes. 

"Twelve o'clock; well, no w we'll see," said 
she, turning, and opening the door into the pas- 
sage-way, and standing as if listening. 

"-Hark! AVhat 's that?" said she, raising' 
her finger. 

" It 's only the wind," said Legree. " Don't 
you hear how cursedly it blows?" 

" Simon, come here," said Cassy, in a whis- 
per, laying her hand on his, and leading hiin to 
the foot of the stairs : " do you know what that 
is? Hark!" • 

A wild shriek came pealing down the stair- 
way. It came from the garret. Legree 's knees 
knocked together; his face grew white with fear. 

"Hadn't you better get your pistols?" said 
Cassy, with a sneer that froze Legree's blood. 
" It 's time this thing was looked into, you know. 
I 'd like to have you go up now ; they We at it." 

" I won't go !" said Legree, with an oath. 

" Why not? There an't any such thing as 
ghosts, you know! Come!" and Cassy flitted 
up the winding stairway, laughing, and looking 
back after him. " Come on !" 

"I believe you are the devil!" said Legree. 
" Come back, you hag, — come back, Cass ! You 
Shan't po!" 

But Cassy laughed wildly, and fled on. He 
heard her open the entry doors that led to the 
garret. A wild gust of wind swept down, extin- 
guishing the candle he held in his hand, and with 
it the fearful, unearthly screams ; they seemed 
to be shrieked in his very ear. 

Legree fled frantically into the parlor, whither, 
in a few moments, he was followed by Cassy, 
pale, calm, cold as an avenging spirit, and with 
that same fearful light in her eye. 

" I hope you are satisfied," said she. 

" Blast you, Cass !" said Legree. 

" What for?" said Cassy. " I only went up 
and shut the doors. What 's the matter ivith that 
garret, Simon, do you suppose ?" said she. 

" None of your business !" said Legree. 

"0, it an't? Well," said Cassy, "at any 
rate, I 'm glad 7 don't sleep under it." 

Anticipating the rising of the wind that very 
evening, Cassy had been up and opened the gar- 
ret window. Of course, the moment the doors 
were opened, the wind had drafted down, and 
extinguished the light. 

This may serve as a specimen of the game that 
Cassy played with Legree, until he would sooner 
have put his head into a lion's mouth than to 
hare explored that garret. Meanwhile, in the 
night, when everybody else was asleep, Cassy 
slowly and carefully accumulated there a stock 
of provisions sufficient to afford subsistence for 
some time ; she transferred, article by article, a 
greater part of her own and Emmeline's wardrobe. 
All things being arranged, they only waited a 
fitting opportunity to put their plan in execu- 
tion. 

By cajoling Legree, and taking advantage of a 

food-natured interval, Cassy had got him to take 
er with him to the neighboring town, which 
was situated directly on the Red river. With a 
memory sharpened to almost preternatural clear- 
ness, she remarked every turn in the road, and 
formed a mental estimate of the time to be occu- 
pied ir traversing it. 



At the time when all was matured for action, 
our readers may, perhaps, like to look behind the 
scenes, and see the final coup d'etat. 

It was now near evening. Legree had been 
absent, on a ride to a neighboring farm. For 
many days, Cassy had been unusually gracious 
and accommodating in her humors ; and Legree 
and she had been, apparently, on the best of 
terms. At present, we may behold her and 
Emmeline in the room of the latter, busy in sort- 
ing and arranging two small bundles. 

"There, these will be large enough," said 
Cassy. "Now put on your bonnet, and let's 
start : it 's just about the right time." 

" Why, they can see us yet," said Emmeline, 

" I mean they shall," said Cassy, coolly. 
"Don't you know that they must have their 
chase after us, at any rate? The way of the 
thing is to be just this : — We will steal out of 
the back door, and run down by the quarters. 
Sambo or Quimbo will be sure to see us. They 
will give chase, and we will get into the swamp ; 
then, they can't follow us any further till they 
go up and give the alarm, and turn out the dogs, 
and so on ; and while they are blundering round, 
and tumbling over each other, lis they always do, 
you and I will just slip along to the creek, that 
runs back of the house, and wade along in it, till 
we get opposite the back door. That will put 
the dogs all at fault ; for scent won't lie in the 
water. Every one will run out of the house to 
look after us, and then we '11 whip in at the back 
door, and up into the garret, where I 've got a 
nice bed made up in one of the great boxes. We 
must stay in that garret a good while ; for, I tell 
you, he will raise heaven and earth after us. 
He '11 muster some of those old overseers on the 
other plantations, and have a great hunt; and 
they '11 go over every inch of ground in that 
swamp. He makes it his boast that nobody ever 
got away -from him. So let him hunt at his 
leisure." 

" Cassy, how well you have planned it!" said 
Emmeline. "Who ever would have thought of 
it, but you?" 

There was neither pleasure nor exultation in 
Cassy's eyes, — only a despairing firmness. 

" Come," she said, reaching her hand to Emme- 
line. 

The two fugitives glided noiselessly from the 
house, and flitted, through the gathering shadows 
of evening, along by the quarters. The crescent 
moon, set like a silver signet in the western sky, 
delayed a little the approach of night. As Cassy 
expected, when quite near the verge of the 
swamps that encircled the plantation, they heard 
a voice calling to them to stop. It was not 
Sambo, however, but Legree, who was pursuing 
them with violent execrations. At the sound, 
the feebler spirit of Emmeline gave way ; and, 
laying hold of Cassy's arm, she said, " O, Cassy, 
I 'm going to faint ! " 

"If you do, I '11 kill you !" said Cassy, draw- 
ing a small, glittering stiletto, and flashing it 
before the eyes of the girl. 

The diversion accomplished the purpose. Em- 
meline did not faint, and succeeded in plunging, 
with Cassy, into a part of the labyrinth of swamp, 
so deep and dark that it was perfectly hopeless 
for Legree to think of following them, without 
assistance. 

" Well," said he, chuckling brutally ; " at any 
rate, they've got themselves into a trap now — 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



151 



tlie baggages ! They 're safe enough. They shall 
Sweat for it!" 

" Hulloa, there ! Sambo ! Quimbo ! All hands ! " 
called Legree, coming to the quarters, when the 
men and women were just returning from work. 
" There 's two runaways in the swamps. I '11 

five five dollars to any nigger as catches 'em. 
'urn out the dogs ! Turn out Tiger, and Fury, 
and the rest !" 

The sensation produced by this news was im- 
mediate. Many of the men sprang forward, 
Officiously, to offer their services, either from the 
hope of the reward, or from that cringing sub- 
serviency which is one of the most baleful effects 
of slavery. Some ran one way, and some another. 
Some were for getting flambeaux of pine-knots. 
Some were uncoupling the dogs, whose hoarse, 
savage bay added not a little to the animation of 
the scene. 

" Mas'r, shall we shoot 'em, if we can't cotch 
'em ?" said Sambo, to whom his master brought 
out a rifle. 

" You may fire on Cass, if you like ; it 's time 
ghe was gone to the devil, where she belongs ; but 
the gal, not," said Legree. " And now, boys, be 
spry and smart. Five dollars for him that gets 
'em ; and a glass of spirits to every one of you, 
anyhow." 

The whole band, with the glare of blazing 
torches, and whoop, and shout, and savage yell, 
of man and beast, proceeded down to the swamp, 
followed, at some distance, by every servant in 
the house. The establishment was, of a conse- 
quence, wholly deserted, when Cassy and Erame- 
line glided into it the back way. The whooping 
and shouts of their pursuers were still filling the 
air; and, looking from the sitting-room windows, 
Cassy and Emmeline could see the troop, with 
their flambeaux, just dispersing themselves along 
the edge of the swamp. 

"See there!" said Emmeline, pointing to 
Cassy; "the hunt is begun! Look how those 
lights dance about! Hark! the dogs! Don't 
you hear'? If we were only there, our chance 
wouldn't be worth a picayune. 0, for pity's 
sake, do let 's hide ourselves. Quick !" 

" There 's no occasion for hurry," said Cassy, 
coolly ; " they are all out after the hunt, — -that 's 
the amusement of the evening ! We '11 go up 
stairs, by and by. ' Meanwhile," said she, de- 
liberately taking a fcey from the pocket of a coat 
that Legree had thrown down in his hurry, ' ' mean- 
while I shall take something to pay our passage." 

She unlocked the desk, took from it a roll of 
bills, which she counted over rapidly. 

" 0, don't let 's do that !" said Emmeline. 

"Don't!" said' Cassy; "why not? Would 
you have us starve in the swamps, or have that 
that will pay our way to the free states 1 Money 
will do anything, girl." And, as she spoke, she 
put the money in her bosom. 

" It would be stealing," said Emmeline, in a 
distressed whisper. 

" Stealing !" said Cassy, withV scornful laugh. 
" They who steal body and soul need n't talk to 
us. Every one of these bills is stolen, — stolen 
from p !0r, starving, sweating creatures, who must 
go to. the devil, at last, for his profitJ^Lct him 
talk about stealing ! But come, weJEay as well 
go up garret ; I 've got a stock o§ jcandles there, 
and some books to pass away the-Cime. You may 
be pretty sure they won't come theie to inquire 
after us If they do, I '11 play ghost for them." 



When Emmeline reached the garret, she found 
an immense box, in which some heavy pieces of 
furniture had once been brought, turned on its 
side, so that the opening faced the wall, or rather 
the eaves. Cassy lit a small lamp, and, creeping 
round under the eaves, they established themselves 
in it. It was spread with a couple of small mat- 
tresses and some pillows ; a box near by was 
plentifully stored with candles, provisions, and 
all the clothing necessary to their journey, which 
Cassy had arranged into bundles of an astonisb- 
ingly small compass. 

" There," said Cassy, as she fixed the lamp 
into a small hook, which she had driven into the 
side of the box for that purpose ; " this vj to be 
our home for the present. How do you like it?" 

" Are you sure they won't come and search the 
garret 1 ' ' 

"I'd like to see Simon Legree doing that!" 
said Cassy. " No, indeed ; he will be too glad to 
keep away. As to the servants, they would any 
of them stand and be shot, sooner than show 
their faces here." 

Somewhat reassured, , Emmeiue settled herself 
back on her pillow. 

" What did you mean. Cansy, by saying you 
would kill me ?" she said, dimply. 

" I meant to stop your fainting," said Cassy, 
" and I did do. it. And aow I tell you, Emma- 
line, you must make up your mind not to faint, 
let what will come ; t] ,ere 's no sort of need of 
it. If I had not stopped you, that wretch might 
have had his hands on you now." 

Emmeline shudder 3d. 

The two remained some time in silence. Cassy 
busied herself with a French book ; Emmeline,, 
overcome with exh tustion, fell into a doze, and 
slept some time. She was awakened by loud 
shouts and outcries, the tramp of horses' feet, arid 
the baying of dogs. She started up, with a faint 
shriek. 

" Only the hunt coming back," said Cassy, 
coolly ; " never fear. Look out of this knot-hole. 
Don't you see 'em all down there 1 ' Simon has to 
give it up, for this night. Look, how muddy his 
horse is, flouncing about in the swamp : the dogs, 
too, look rather crest-fallen. Ah, my good sir, 
you '11 have to try the race again and again, — 
the game is n't there." 

" 0, don't speak a word!" said Emmeline; 
" what if they should hear you?" 

"If they do hear anything, it will make them 
very particular to keep away," said Cass} r . " No 
danger ; we may make any noise we please, and it 
will only add to the effect." 

At length the stillness of midnight settled down 
over the house. Legree, cursing his ill luck, and 
vowing dire vengeance on the morrow, went to. 
bed. 
»* . 



CHAPTER XL. 

THE MARTYR. 

Deem not the just by Heaven forgot • 

Though life its common gifts deny, — 
W Though, with a crushed and bleeding heart, 

And spurned of man, he goes to die ! 
For God hath marked each sorrowing day, 

And numbered every bitter tear; 
Ami heaven's long years of bliss shall pay 

lor all his children suffer here." — Bryant. 

The longest way must have its close, — the 
gloomiest night will wear on to a morning. An 



152 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR, 



eternal, inexorable lapse of moments is ever hur- 
rying the day of the evil to an eternal night, and 
the night of the just to an eternal day. We have 
walked with our humble friend thus far in the 
valley of slavery ; first through flowery fields of 
case and indulgence, then through heart-breaking 
separations from all that man holds dear. Again, 
we have waited with him in a sunny island, 
where generous hands concealed his chains with 
flowers ; and, lastly, Ave have followed him when 
the last ray of earthly hope went out in night, 
and seen how, in the blackness of earthly dark- 
ness, the firmament of the unseen has blazed with 
stars of new and significant lustre. 

The morning-star now stands over the tops of 
the mountains, and gales and breezes, not of 
earth, show that the gates of day are unclosing. 

The escape of Cassy and Emmeline irritated 
the before surly temper of Legree to the last de- 
gree ; and his fury, as was to be expected, fell 
upon the defenceless head of Tom. When he hur- 
riedly announced the tidings among his hands, 
there was a sudden light in Tom's eye, a sudden 
upraising of his hands, that did not escape him. 
He saw that he did not join the muster of the 
pursuers. He thought of forcing him to do it ; 
but, having had, of old, experience of his inflexi- 
bility when commanded to take part in any deed 
of inhumanity, he would not, in his hurry, stop 
to enter into any conflict with him. 

Tom, therefore, remained behind, with a few 
who had learned of him to pray, and offered up 
prayers for the escape of the fugitives. 

When Legree returned, baffled and disappointed, 
all the long-working hatred of his soul towards 
his slave be°ran to gather in a deadly and desper- 
ate form. Had not this man braved him, — 
steadily, powerfully, resistlessly, — ever since he 
bought him? Was there not a spirit in him 
which, silent as it was, burned on him like the 
fires of perdition ? 

" I hate him !" said Legree, that night, as he sat 
up in his bed; " I hate him ! And is n't he mine? 
Can't I do what I like with him ? Who 's to 
hinder, I wonder?" And Legree clenched his fist, 
and shook it, as if he had something in his hands 
that he could rend in pieces. 

But, then, Tom was a faithful, valuable servant ; 
and, although Legree hated him the more for that, 
yet the consideration was still somewhat of a 
restraint to him. 

The next morning, he determined to say noth- 
ing, as yet ; to assemble a party, from some 
neighboring plantations, with dogs and guns ; to 
surround the swamp, and go about the hunt sys- 
tematically. If it succeeded, well and good ; if 
not, he would summon Tom before him, and — 
his teeth clenched and his blood boiled — then he 

would break that fellow down, or there was 

a dire inward whisper, to which his soul as- 
sented. 

Ye say that the interest of the master is a suf- 
ficient safeguard for the slave. In the fury of 
man's mad will, he will wittingly, and with open 
eye, sell his own soul to the devil to gain his 
ends ; and will he be more careful of his neigh- 
bor's body ? 

" Well," said Cassy, the next day, from the 
garret, as she reconnoitred through the knot-hole, 
" the hunt 's going to begin again, to-day !" 

Three or four mounted horsemen were curvet- 
ting about, on the space front of the house ; and 
one or two leashes of strange dogs were strug- 



gling with the negroes who held them, baying and 
barking at each other. 

The men were, two of them, overseers of planta- 
tions in the vicinity ; and others were some of 
Legree's associates at the tavern bar of a neigh- 
boring city, who had come for the interest of the 
sport. A more hard-favored set, perhaps, could 
not be imagined. Legree was serving brandy, 
profusely, round among them, as also among the 
negroes who had been detailed from the various 
plantations for this service ; for it was an object 
to make every service of this kind, among the 
negroes, .as much of a holiday as possible. 

Cassy placed her ear at the knot-hole ; and, as 
the morning air blew directly towards the house, 
she could overhear a good deal of the conversa- 
tion. A grave sneer overcast the dark, severe 
gravity of her face, as she listened, and heard 
them divide out the ground, discuss the rival 
merits of the dogs, give orders about firing, and 
the treatment of each, in case of capture. 

Cassy drew back ; and, clasping her hands, 
looked upward, and said, "0, great Almighty 
God ! we are all sinners ; buj; what have we done, 
more than all the rest of the world, that we 
should be treated so ? " * 

There was a terrible earnestness in her face 
and voice, as she spoke. 

" If it was n't for you, child," she said, looking 
at Emmeline, "I'd go out to them; and I'd 
thank any one of them that would shoot me down ; 
for what use will freedom be to me ? Can it give 
me back my children, or make me what I used to 
be?" 

Emmeline, in her child-like simplicity, was 
half afraid of the dark moods of Cassy. She 
looked perplexed, but made no answer. She only 
took her hand, with a gentle, caressing move- 
ment. 

" Don't !" said Cassy, trying to draw it away; 
" you '11 get me to loving you ; and I never mean 
to love anything again !" 

"Poor Cassy!" said Emmeline, "don't feel 
so ! If the Lord gives us liberty, perhaps he '11 
give you back your daughter ; at any rate, I '11 
be like a daughter to you. I know I '11 never see 
my poor old mother again ! I shall love you, 
Cassy, whether you love me or not !" 

The gentle, child-like spirit conquered. Cassy 
sat down by her, put her arm round her neck, 
stroked her soft, brown hair ; and Emmeline ther 
wondered at the beauty of her magnificent eyes 
now soft with tears. 

"0, Em!" said Cassy, " I 've hungered for 
my children, and thirsted for them, and my eyes 
fail with longing for them ! Here, here," she 
said, striking her breast, " it 's all desolate, all 
empty ! If God would give me back my children, 
then I could pray." 

" You must trust him, Cassy," said Emmeline ; 
" he is our Father !" 

" His wrath is upon us," said Cassy ; " he has 
turned away in anger." 

"No, Cassy ! He will be good to us ! Let us 
hope in Him," said Emmeline, — " I always have 

had hope." 

# # * * # 

The Jupit was long, animated, and thorough, 
but unsuccessful ; and, with grave, ironic exulta- 
tion, Cassy looked down on Legree, as, 'weary 
and dispirited, he alighted from his horse. 

"Now, Quimbo," said Legree, as he stretched 
himself down in the sitting-room, "you jest g. 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR, 



153 



and walk that Tom up here, right away ! The 
old cuss is at the bottom of this yer whole matter ; 
and I '11 have it cut of his old black hide, or I '11 
know the reason why ! ' ' 

Sambo and Quimbo, both, though hating each 
other, were joined in one mind by a no less cordial 
hatred of Tom. Legree had told them, at first, 
that he had bought him for a general overseer, in 
his absence ; and this had begun an ill will on 
their part, which had increased, in their debased 
and servile natures, as they saw him becoming 
dbnoxious to their master's displeasure. Quimbo, 
therefore, departed, with a will, to execute his 
orders. 

Tom heard the message with a forewarning 
heart ; for he knew all the plan of the fugitives' 
escape, and the place of their present conceal- 
ment ; — he knew the deadly character of the 
man he had to deal with, and his despotic power. 
But he felt strong in God to meet death, rather 
than betray the helpless. 

He set his basket down by the row, and, look- 
ing up, said, " Into thy hands I commend my 
spirit ! Thou hast redeemed me, Lord God of 
truth !" and then quietly yielded himself to the 
rough, brutal grasp with which Quimbo seized 
him. 

" Ay, ay !" said the giant, as he dragged him 
along ; " ye '11 cotch it now ! I '11 boun' Mas'r's 
back's up high! No sneaking out, now! Tell 
ye, ye 'Ll get it, and no mistake ! See how ye '11 
look, now, helpin' Mas'r's niggers to run away ! 
See what ye '11 get ! ' ' 

The savage words none of them reached that 
ear ! — a higher voice there was saying, "Fear 
not them that kill the body, and, after that, have 
no more that they can do." Nerve and bone of 
that poor man's body vibrated to those words, as 
if touched by the finger of God ; and he felt the 
strength of a thousand souls in one. As he 
passed along, the trees and bushes, the huts of 
his servitude, the whole scene of his degradation, 
seemed to whirl by him as the landscape by the 
rushing car. His soul throbbed, — his home was 
in sight, — and the hour of release seemed at 
hand. 

"Well, Tom!" said Legree, walking up, and 
seizing him grimly by the collar of his coat, and 
speaking through his teeth, in a paroxj^sm of 
determined rage, "do you know I've made up 
my mind to kill you ?" 

" It 's very likely, Mas'r," said Tom, calmly. 

"I have," said Legree, with a grim, terrible 
calmness, " done — just — that — thing, Tom, un- 
less you '11 tell me what you know about these 
yer gals ! ' ' 

Tom stood silent. 

" D' ye hear?" said Legree, stamping, with a 
roar like that of an incensed lion. " Speak !" 

" I han't got nothing to tell, Mas'r," said Tom,' 
with a c\ow, firm, deliberate utterance. 

" Do you dare to tell me, ye old black Christian, 
ye don't know 1 " said Legree. 

Tom was silent. 

" Speak!" thundered Legree, striking him furi- 
ously. "Do you know anything ?" 

" I know, Mas'r ; but I can't tell anything. 1 
can die ! " • 

^ Legree drew in a long breath ; and, suppressing 
his rage, took Tom by the arm, and approaching 
his face almost to bis, said, in a terrible voice, 
" Hark'e, Tom ! — ye think, 'cause I 've let you 
Off before, I don't mean. what I say; but, this 



time, I 've made up my mind, and counted the cost. 
You 've always stood it out agin me ; now, I '11 
conquer ye, or lull ye! — one or t' other. I'll 
count every drop of blood there is in you, and take 
'em, one by one, till ye give up !" 

Tom looked up to his master, and answered, 
" Mas'r, if you was sick, or in trouble, or dying, 
and I could save ye, I 'd give ye my heart's blood ; 
and, if taking every drop of bloodin this poor old 
body would save your precious soul, I 'd give 'em 
freely, as the Lord gave his for me. 0, Mas'r ! 
don't bring this great sin on your soul ! It will 
hurt you more than 't will me ! Do the worst you 
can, my troubles '11 be over soon ; but, if ye don't 
repent, yours won't never end !" 

Like a strange snatch of heavenly music, heard 
in the lull of a tempest, this burst of feeling made 
a moment's blank pause. Legree stood aghast, 
and looked at Tom ; and there was such a silence, 
that the tick of the old clock could be heard, meas- 
uring, with silent touch, the last moments of 
mercy and probation to that hardened heart. 

It was but a moment. There was one hesitat- 
ing pause, — one irresolute, relenting thrill, — 
and the spirit of evil came back, with seven-fold 
vehemence ; and Legree, foaming with rage, smote 
his victim to the ground. 

^? 3F a? if yp 

Scenes of blood and cruelty are shocking to our 
ear and heart. What man has nerve to do, man 
has not nerve to hear. What brother-man and 
brother-Christian must suffer, cannot be told us, 
even in our secret chamber, it so harrows up the 
soul ! And yet, my country ! these things are 
done under the shadow of thy laws ! , Christ ! 
thy church sees them, almost in silence ! 

But, of old, there was One whose suffering 
changed an instrument of torture, degradation 
and shame, into a symbol of glory, honor, and im- 
mortal life : and where His spirit is, neither de- 
grading stripes, nor blood, nor insults, can make 
the Christian's last struggle less than glorious. 

Was he alone, that long night, whose brave, 
loving spirit was bearing up, in that old shed, 
against buffeting and brutal stripes ? 

Nay ! There stood by One, — seen by him 
alone, — " like unto the Son of God." 

The tempter stood by him, too, — blinded by 
furious, despotic will, — every moment pressing 
him to shun that agony by the betrayal of the in- 
nocent. But the brave, true heart was firm on 
the Eternal Rock. Like his Master, he knew 
that, if he saved others, himself he could not save ; 
nor could utmost extremity wring from him words, 
save of prayer and holy trust. 

" He 's most gone, Mas'r," said Sambo, touched, 
in spite of himself, by the patience of his vic- 
tim. 

" Pay away, till he gives up ! Give it to him ! 

— give it to him !" shouted Legree. " I '11 take 
every drop of blood he has, unless he confesses !" 

Tom opened his eyes, and looked upon his mas- 
ter. "Ye poor miserable critter!' he said, 
" there an't no more ye can do ! I forgive ye, 
with all my soul !" and he fainted entirely away. 

" I believe, my soul, he 's done for, finally," 
said Legree, stepping forward, to look at him. 
" Yes, he is ! AY ell, his mouth 's shut up, at last, 

— that 's one comfort !" 

Yes, Legree ; but who shall shut up that voice 
in thy soul? that soul, past repentance, past 
prayer, past hope, in whom the fire that never 
shall be quenched is already burning I 



154 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR. 



Yet Tom was not quite gone. His wondrous 
words and pious prayers had struck upon the 
hearts of the imhruted blacks, who had been the 
instruments of cruelty upon him ; and, the instant 
Legree withdrew, they took him down, and, in 
their ignorance, sought to call him back to life, 
— as if that were any favor to him ! 

" Sartin, we 's "been doin' a drefful wicked 
thing !" said Sambo ; " hopes Mas'r '11 have to 
'count for it, and not we." 

They washed his wounds, — they provided a 
rude bed, of some refuse cotton, for him to lie 
down on ; and one of them, stealing up to the 
house, begged a drink of brandy of Legree, pre- 
tending that he was tired, and wanted it for him- 
self. He brought it back, and poured it down' 
Tom's throat. 

"0, Tom !" said Quimbo, u we's been awful 
wicked to ye !" 

" I forgive ye, with all my heart !" said Tom, 
faintly. 

"0, Tom ! do tell us who is Jesus, anyhow?" 
said Sambo ; — " Jesus, that 's been a standin* 
by you so, all this night ! — Who is he ?" 

The word roused the failing, fainting spirit. 
He poured forth a few energetic sentences of that 
wondrous One, — his life, his death, his everlast- 
ing presence, and power to save. 

They wept, — both the two savage men. 

'> Why did n't I never hear this before?" said 
Sambo ; " but I do believe ! — I can't help, it ! 
Lord Jesus, have mercy onus!" • 

" Poor critters !" said Tom, "I'd be willing 
to b'ar all I have, if it '11 only bring ye to Christ ! 
0, Lord ! give me these two more souls, I pray !" 

That prayer was answered ' 



CHAPTER XLL 



THE YOUNG MASTER. 



Two days after, a young man drove a light 
wagon up through the avenue of china-trees, and, 
throwing the reins hastily on the horses' neck, 
sprang out and inquired for the owner of the place. 

It was George Shelby ; and, to show how he 
came to be there, we must go back in our story. 

The letter of Miss Ophelia to Mrs. Shelby had, 
by some unfortunate accident, been detained, for 
a month or two, at some remote post-office, before 
it reached its destination ; and, of course, before 
it was received, Tom was already lost to view 
among the distant swamps of the Red river. 

Mrs. Shelby read the intelligence with the 
deepest concern ; but any immediate action upon 
it was an impossibility. She was then in attend- 
ance on the sick-bed of her husband, who lay 
delirious in the crisis of a fever. Master George 
Shelby, who, in the interval, had changed from a 
boy to a tall young man, was her constant and 
faithful assistant, and her only reliance in super- 
intending his father's affairs. Miss Ophelia had 
taken the precaution to send them the name of 
the lawyer who did business for the St. Clares ; 
and the most that, in the emergency, could be 
done, was to address a letter of inquiry to him. 
The sudden death of Mr. Shelby, a few days 
after, brought, of course, an absorbing pressure 
of other interests, for a season. 

Mr. Shelby showed his confidence in his wife's 
ability, by appointing her sole executrix upon his 
estates ; and thus immediately a large and com- 



plicated amount of business was brought uponUei 
hands. 

Mrs. Shelby, with characteristic energy, ap- 
plied herself to the work of straightening the en- 
tangled web of affairs ; and she and George werfc 
for some time occupied with collecting and ex>- 
amining accounts, selling property and settling 
debts ; ^ for Mrs. Shelby was determined that 
everything should be brought into tangible and 
recognizable shape, let the consequences to her 
prove what they might. In the mean time, they 
received a letter from the lawyer to whom Miss 
Ophelia had referred them, saying that he knew 
nothing of the matter ; that the man was sold at 
a public auction, and that, beyond receiving the 
money, he knew nothing of the affair. 

Neither George nor Mrs. Shelby could be easy 
at this result ; and, accordingly, some six months 
after, the latter, having business for his mother 
down the river, resolved to visit New Orleans in 
person, and push his inquiries, in hopes of dis- 
covering Tom's whereabouts, and restoring him. 

After some months of unsuccessful search, t>y 
the merest accident George fell in with a man, 
in New Orleans, who happened to be possessed 
of the desired information ; and with his money 
in his pocket, our hero took steamboat for Red 
river, resolving to find out and re-purchase his old 
friend. 

He was soon introduced into the house, where 
he found Legree in the sitting-room. 

Legree received the stranger with a kind of 
surly hospitality. 

" I understand," said the young man, " that 
you bought, in New Orleans, a boy named Tom. 
He used to be on my father's place, and I came 
to see if I could n't buy him back." 

Legree's brow grew dark, and he broke out, 
passionately : " Yes, I did buy such a fellow, — 
and a h — 1 of a bargain I had of it, too ! Thfe 
most rebellious, saucy, impudent dog ! Set up 
my niggers to run away ; got off two gals, worth 
eight hundred or a thousand dollars apiece. Lb 
owned to that, and, when I bid him tell me 
where they was, he up and said he knew, but he 
would n't tell ; and stood to it, though I gave 
him the cussedest flogging I ever gave nigger yefc 
I b'lieve he 's trying to die ; but I don't know as 
he '11 make it out." 

"Where is he?" said George, impetuously. 
"Let me see him !" The cheeks of the young 
man were crimson, and his eyes flashed fire ; but 
he prudently said nothing, as yet. 

" He 's in dat ar shed," said a little fellow, 
who stood holding George's horse. 

Legree kicked the boy, and swore at him ; but 
George, without saying another word, turned and 
strode to the spot. 

Tom had been lying two days since the fatal 
night ; not suffering, for every nerve of suffering 
was blunted and destroyed. He lay, for the most 
part, in a quiet stupor ; for the laws of a powerful 
and well-knit frame would hot at once release the 
imprisoned spirit. By stealth, there had been 
there, in the darkness of the night, poor desolated 
creatures, who stole from their scanty hours' rest, 
that they might repay to him some of those min- 
istrations of love in which he had always been 
so abundant. Truly, those poor disciples had 
little to give, — only the cup of cold water ; but 
it was given with full hearts. 

Tears had fallen on that honest, insensible 
face, — tears of late repentance, in the poor, igno* 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



155 



rant heathen, whom his dying love and patience 
had awakened to repentance, and bitter prayers, 
breathed over him to a late-found Saviour, of 
whom they scarce knew more than the name, but 
whom the yearning ignorant heart of man never 
implores in vain. 

Cassy, who had glided out of her place of con- 
cealment, and, by over-hearing, learned the sacri- 
fice that had been made for her and Emmeline, 
had been there, the night before, defying the dan- 
ger of detection; and, moved by the few last 
words which the affectionate soul had yet strength 
to breathe, the long winter of despair, the ice of 
years, had given way, and the dark, despairing 
woman had wept and prayed. 

When George entered the shed, he felt his head 
giddy and his heart sick. 

"Is it possible, — is it possible?" said he, 
kneeling down by him. " Uncle Tom, my poor, 
poor old friend ! ' ' 

Something in the voice penetrated to the ear of 
the dying. He moved his head gently, smiled, 
and said, 

" Jesus can make a dying-bed 
Feel soft as r'ovyny pillows are." 

Tears which did hon >r to his manly heart fell 
from the young man's eyes, as he bent over his 
poor friend. 

" 0, dear Uncle Tom! do wake, — do speak 
once more ! Look up ! Here 's Mas'r George, — 
your own little Mas'r George. Don't you know 



me 



t" 



" Mas'r George !" said Tom, opening his eyes, 
and speaking in a feeble voice ; " Mas'r George !" 
He looked bewildered. 

Slowly the idea seemed to fill his soul ; and the 
vacant eye became fixed and brightened,* the whole 
face lighted up, the hard hands clasped, and tears 
ran down the cheeks. 

"Bless the Lord! it is, — it is, — it's all I 
wanted ! They have n't forgot me. It warms my 
soul ; it does my old heart good ! Now I shall 
die content ! Bless the Lord, my soul !" 

"You shan't die! you must n't die, nor think 
af it ! I 've come to buy you, and take you 
aome," said George, with impetuous vehemence. 

"0, Mas'r George, yer too late. The Lord 's 
bought me, and is going to take me home, — 
and I long to go. Heaven is better than Kin- 
tuck." 

"0, don't die ! It '11 kill me ! — it '11 break 
my heart to think what you 've suffered, and 
lying in this old shed, here ! Poor, poor fellow ! " 

" Don't call me poor fellow !" said Tom, solemn- 
ly. "I have been poor fellow; but that's all 
past and gone, now. I 'm right in the door, going 
to glory ! 0, Mas'r George ! Heaven has come! 
I 've got the victory ! — the Lord Jesus has given 
it to me ! Glory be to His name !" 

George was awe-struck at the force, the vehe- 
mence, the power, with which these broken sen- 
tences were uttered. He sat gazing in silence. 

Tom grasped his hand, and continued, — " Ye 
must n't, now, tell Chloe, poor soul ! how ye found 
me ; — 't would be so drefful to her. Only tell 
her ye found me going into glory ; and that I 
could n't stay for no one. And tell her the Lord 's 
stood by me everywhere and al'ays, and made 
everything light and easy. And 0, the poor 
chil'en, and "the baby! — my old heart's been 
most broke for 'em, time and agin ! Tell 'em all 
to follow me — follow me ' Gr r e ni} 'ove to 



Mas'r, and dear good Missis, and everybody in 
the place ! Ye don't know ! 'Pears like I loves 
em all ! I loves every cretur' every whar ! — it 's 
nothing but love ! 0, Mas'r George, what a 
thing it is to be a Christian !" 

At this moment, Legree sauntered up to the 
door of the shed, looked in, with a dogged air of 
affected carelessness, and turned away. 

"The old Satan !" said George, in his indigna- 
tion. " It 's a comfort to think the devil will pay 
him for this, some of these days !" 

"0, don't! — 0, ye mustn't!" said Tom, 
grasping his hand ; " he 's a poor mis'able critter ! 
it's awful to think on 't ! 0, if he only could 
repent, the Lord would forgive him now ; but I 'm 
'feared he never will !" 

"I hope he won't!" said George; "I never 
want to see him in heaven !" 

" Hush, Mas'r George ! — it worries me ! Don't 
feel so! He an't done me no real harm, — only 
opened the gate of the kingdom for me ; that 's 
all!" 

At this moment, the sudden flush of strength 
which the joy of meeting his young master had 
infused into the dying man gave way. A sudden 
sinking fell upon him ; he closed his eyes ; and 
that mysterious and sublime change passed over 
his face, that told the approach of other worlds. 

He began to draw his breath with long, deep 
inspirations ; and his broad chest rose and fell 
heavily. The expression of his face was that of a 
conqueror. 

"Who — who — who shall separate us from 
the love of Christ?" he said, in a voice that con- 
tended with mortal weakness ; and, with a smile, 
he fell asleep. 

George sat fixed with solemn awe. It -seemed to 
him that the place was holy; and, as he closed the 
lifeless eyes, and rose up from the dead, only one 
thought possessed him, — - that expressed by his 
simple old friend, — " What a thing; it is to be a 
Christian !" 

He turned : Legree was standing, sullenly, be- 
hind him. 

Something in that dying scene had checked the 
natural fierceness of youthful passion. The pres- 
ence of the man was simply loathsome to George ; 
and he felt only an impulse to get away from him, 
with as few words as possible. 

Fixing his keen, dark eyes on Legree, he simply 
said, pointing to the dead, " You have got all you 
ever can of him. What shall I pay you for the 
body ? I will take it away, and bury it decently." 

" I don't sell dead niggers," said Legree, dog- 
gedly. " You are welcome to bury him where and 
when you like." 

" Boys," said George, in an authoritative tone, 
to two or three negroes, who were looking at the 
body, " help me lift him up, and carry him to my 
wagon ; and get me a spade." 

One of them ran for a spade ; the other two 
assisted George to carry the body to the wagon. 

George neither spoke to nor looked at Legree, 
who did not countermand his orders, but stood, 
whistling, with an air of forced unconcern. He 
sulkily followed them to where the wagon stood at 
the door. 

George spread his cloak in the wagon, and had 
the body carefully disposed of in it, — moving the 
seat, so as to give it room. Then he turned, fixed 
his eves on Legree, and said, with forced com- 
pos ura 

" I have not, as yet, said to you what I think 



150 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR, 



of this most atrocious affair; — this is not the 
timo and place. But, sir, this innocent blood 
shall have justice. I will proclaim this murder. 
I will go to the. very first magistrate, and expose 
you." 

" Do !" said Legree, snapping his fingers, scorn- 
fully. " I 'd like to see you doing it. Where 
you going to get witnesses 1 — how you going to 
prove it? — Come, now !" 

George saw, at once, the force of this defiance. 
There was not a white person on the place ; and, 
in all southern courts, the testimony of colored 
blood is nothing. lie felt, at that moment, as if 
he could have rent the heavens with his heart's 
indignant cry for justice ; but in vain. 

" After all, what a fuss, for a dead nigger!" 
said Legree. 

The word was as a spark to a powder magazine. 
Prudence was never a cardinal virtue of the Ken- 
tucky boy. George turned, and, with one indig- 
nant blow, knocked Legree flat upon his face ; and, 
as he stood over him, blazing with wrath and de- 
fiance, he would have formed no bad personifica- 
tion of his great namesake triumphing over the 
dragon 

Some men, however, are decidedly bettered by 
being knocked down. If a man lays them fairly 
flat in the dust, they seem immediately to conceive 
a respect for him ; and Legree was one of this 
sort. As he rose, therefore, and brushed the dust 
from his clothes, he eyed the slowly-retreating 
wagon with some evident consideration ; nor did 
he open his mouth till it was out of sight. 

Beyond the boundaries of the plantation, George 
had noticed a dry, sandy knoll, shaded by a few 
trees : there they made the grave. 

" Shall we take off the cloak, Mas'r?" said the 
negroes, when the grave was ready. 

" No, no, — bury it with him ! It 's all I can 
give you, now, poor Tom, and you shall have 
it." 

They laid him in ; and the men shovelled away, 
silently. They banked it up, and laid green turf 
over it. 

"You may go, boys," said George, slipping a 
quarter into the hand of each. They lingered 
about, however. 

"If young Mas'r would please buy us — " said 
one. 

" We 'd serve him so faithful !" said the other. 

"Hard times here, Mas'r!' said the first. 
" Do, Mas'r, buy us, please !" 

" I can't ! — I can't !" said George, with diffi- 
culty, motioning them off; u it 's impossible !" 

The poor fellows looked dejected, and walked off 
in silence. 

" Witness, eternal God !" said George, kneeling 
on the grave of his poor friend ; u 0, witness 
that, from this hour, I will do what one man can 
to drive out this curse of slavery from my land !" 

There is no monument to mark the last resting- 
place of our friend. He needs none ! His Lord 
knows where he lies, and will raise him up, im- 
mortal, to appear with him when he shall appear 
in his glory. 

Pity him not ! Such a life and death is not for 
pity ! Not in the riches of omnipotence is the 
chief glory of God ; but in self-denying, suffering 
love ! And blessed are the men whom he calls to 
fellowship with him, bearing their cross after him 
with patience. Of such it is written, u Blessed 
are they that mourn, for they shall be com- 
forted." 



CHAPTER XLII. 

AN AUTHENTIC GIIOST STORY. 

For some remarkable reason, ghostly legends 
were uncommonly rife, about this time, among 
the ser.vants on Legree 's place. 

It was whisperingly asserted that footsteps, 
in the dead of night, had been heard descending 
the garret stairs, and patrolling the house. In 
vain the doors of the upper entry had been 
locked ; the ghost either carried a duplicate key 
in its pocket, or availed itself of a ghost's imme- 
morial privilege of coming through the keyhole, 
and promenaded 'as before, with a freedom that 
was alarming. 

Authorities were somewhat divided as to the out- 
ward form of the spirit, owing to a custom quite 
prevalent among negroes, — and, for aught we 
know, among whites, too, — of invariably shutting 
the eyes, and covering up heads under blankets, 
petticoats, or whatever else might come in use for a 
shelter, on these occasions. Of course, as every- 
body knows, when the bodily eyes are thus out of 
the lists, the spiritual eyes are uncommonly viva- 
cious and perspicuous; and, therefore, there were 
abundance of full-length portraits of the ghost, 
abundantly sworn and testified to, which, as is 
often the case with portraits, agreed with each 
other in no particular, except the common fam- 
ily peculiarity of the ghost tribe, — the wearing 
of a white sheet. The poor souls were not versed 
in ancient history, and did not know that Shak- 
speare had authenticated this costume, by telling 
how 

" The sheeted dead 
Did squeak and gibber in the streets of Rome." 

And, therefore, their all hitting upon this is a 
striking fact in pneumatology, which we recom- 
mend to the attention of spiritual media generally. 

Be it as it may, we have private reasons for 
knowing that a tall figure in a white sheet did 
walk, at the most approved ghostly hours, around 
the Legree premises, — pass out the doors, glide 
about the house, — disappear at intervals, and, 
reappearing, pass up the silent stair-way, into 
that fatal garret ; and that, in the morning, the 
entry doors were all found shut and locked as firm 
as ever. 

Legree could not help overhearing this whis- 
pering ; and it was all the more exciting to him, 
from the pains that were taken to conceal it from 
him. He drank more brandy than usual ; held 
up his head briskly, and swore louder than ever, 
in the day-time ; but he had bad dreams, and the 
visions of his head on his bed were anything but 
agreeable. The night after Tom's bqdy had been 
carried away, he rode to the next town for a ca- 
rouse, and had a high one. Got home late and 
tired ; locked his door, took out the key, and went 
to bed. 

After all, let a man take what pains he may to 
hush it down, a human soul is an awful ghostly, 
unquiet possession for a bad man to have. Who 
knows the metes and bounds of it ? Who knows 
all its awful perhapses, — those shudderings and 
tremblings, which it can no more live down 
than it can outlive its own eternity ! What a 
fool is he who locks his door to keep out spirits, 
who has in his own bosom a spirit he dares not 
meet alone, t— whose voice, smothered far down, 
and piled over with mountains of earthliness, is 
yet like the fore warring trumpet of doom ! 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY. 



157 



Bat Legrce locked his door and set a chair 
against it ; he set a night-lamp at the head of his 
bed ; and he put his pistols there. He examined 
the catches and fastenings of the windows, and 
t'-ien swore he " did n't care for the devil and all 
bis angels," and went to sleep. 

Well, he slept, for he was tired, — slept sound- 
ly. But, finally, there came oyer his sleep a 
shadow, a horror, an apprehension of something 
dieadful hanging; over him. It was his mother's 
shroud, he thought ; but Cassy had it, holding it 
up, and showing it to him. He heard a confused 
noise of screams and groanings ; and, with it 
all, he knew he was asleep, and he struggled to 
wake himself. He was half awake. He was 
sure something was coming into his room. He 
knew the door was opening, but he could not stir 
hand or foot. At last he turned, with a start ; 
the door was open, and he saw a hand putting out 
his light. 

It was a cloudy, misty moonlight, and there he 
Saw it! — something white, gliding in 1 He 
heard the still rustle of its ghostly garments. 
It stood still by his bed ; — a cold hand touched 
his ; a voice said, three times, in a low, fearful 
whisper, " Come ! come! come!" And, while 
he lay sweating with terror, he knew not when 
or how, the thing was gone. He sprang out of 
bed, and pulled at the door. It was shut and 
locked, and the man fell doAvn in a swoon. 

After this, Legree became a harder drinker than 
ever before. He no longer drank cautiously, pru- 
dently, but imprudently and recklessly. 

There were reports around the country, soon 
after, that he was sick and dying. Excess had 
brought on that frightful disease that seems to 
throw the lurid shadows of a coming retribution 
back into the present life. None could bear the- 
horrors of that sick room, when he raved and 
screamed, and spoke 'of sights which almost 
stopped the blood of those who heard him ; and, 
at his dying bed, stood a stern, white, inexorable 
figure, saying, " Come ! come ! come !" 

By a singular coincidence, on the very night 
that this vision appeared to Legree, the house- 
door was found open in the morning, and some 
of the negroes had seen two white figures gliding 
down the avenue towards the high-road. 

It was near sunrise when Cassy and Emmeline 
paused, for a moment, in a little knot of trees 
near the town. 

Cassy was dressed after the manner of the 
Creole Spanish ladies, — wholly in black. A 
small black bonnet on her head, covered by a veil 
thick with embroidery, concealed her face. It 
had been agreed that, in their escape, she was to 
personate the character of a Creole lady, and 
Emmeline that of her servant. 

Brought up, from early life, in connection with 
the highest society, the language, movements and 
air of Cassy, were all in agreement with this 
idea ; and she had still enough remaining with 
her, of a once splendid wardrobe, and sets of 
jewels, to enable her to personate the thing to 
advantage. 

She stopped in the outskirts of the town, where 
she had noticed trunks for sale, and purchased a 
handsome one. This she requested the man to 
send along with her. And, accordingly, thus 
escorted by a boy wheeling her trunk, and Emme- 
line behind her, carrying her carpet-bag and sun- 
dry bundles^ she made her appearance at the 
small tavern, like a lady of consideration. 



The first person that struck her, after her ar- 
! rival, was George Shelby, who was staying there, 
J awaiting the next boat. 

Cassy had remarked the young man from her 
j loop-hole in the garret, and seen him bear away 
the body of Tom, and observed, with secret exult- 
ation, his rencontre with Legree. Subsequently, 
j she had gathered, from the conversations she had 
overheard among the negroes, as she glided about 
in her ghostly disguise, after nightfall, who he 
was, and in what relation he stood to Tom. She 
therefore felt an immediate accession of confi- 
dence, when she found that he was, like herself, 
awaiting the next boat. 

Cassy's air and manner, address, and evident 
command of money, prevented any rising dispo- 
sition to suspicion in the hotel. People never 
inquire too closely into those who are fair um the 
main point, of paying well, — a thing tvhich 
Cassy had foreseen when she provided herself 
with money. 

In the edge of the evening, a boat was heard 
coming along, and George Shelby handed Cassy 
aboard, with the politeness which comes naturally 
to every Kentuckian, and exerted himself to pro- 
vide her with a good state-room. 

Cassy kept her room and bed, on pretext of ill- 
ness, during the whole time they were on Red 
river ; and was waited on, with obsequious devo- 
tion, by her attendant. 

When they arrived at the Mississippi river, 
George, having learned that the course of the 
strange lady was upward, like his own, proposed 
to take a state-room for her on the same boat 
with himself, — good-naturedly compassionating 
her feeble health, and desirous to do what he 
could to assist her. 

Behold, therefore, the whole party safely trans- 
ferred to the good steamer Cincinnati, and sweep- 
ing up the river under a powerful head of 
steam. 

Cassy's health was much better. She sat upon 
the guards, came to the table, and was remarked 
upon in the boat as a lady that must have been 
very handsome. 

From the moment that George got the first 
glimpse of her face, he was troubled with one of 
those fleeting and indefinite likenesses, which 
almost everybody can remember, and has been, 
at times, perplexed with. He could not keep 
himself from looking at her, and watching her 
perpetually. At table, or sitting at her state- 
room door, still she would encounter the }~oung 
man's eyes fixed on her, and politely withdrawn, 
when she showed, by her countenance, that she 
was sensible of the observation. 

Cassy became uneasy. She began to think that 
he suspected something; and finally resolved to 
throw herself entirely on his generosity, and 
intrusted him with her whole history. 

George was heartily disposed to sympathize 
with any one who had escaped from Legree's 
plantation, — a place that he could not remember 
or speak of with patience, — and, with the cour- 
ageous disregard of consequences which is ohara'c 
teristic of his age and state, he assured her that 
he would do all in his power to protect and 
bring them through. 

The next state-room to Cassy's was occupied 
by a French lady, named I)e Thoux, who was 
accompanied by a fine little daughter, a child of 
some twelve summers. 

This lady, having gathered, from George'* 



158 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR, 



conversation, that he was from Kentucky, seemed 
evidently disposed to cultivate his acquaintance, 
in -which design she was seconded by the graces 
of her little girl, who was about as pretty a play- 
thing as ever diverted the weariness of a fort- 
night's trip on a steamboat. 

George's chair was often placed at her state- 
room door ; and Cassy, as she sat upon the guards, 
could hear their conversation. 

Madame de Thoux was very minute in her in- 
quiries as to Kentucky, where she said she had 
resided in a former period of her life. George 
discovered, to his surprise, that her former resi- 
dence must have been in his own vicinity ; and 
her inquiries showed a knowledge of people and 
things in his region that was perfectly surprising 
to him. 

" Do you know," said Madame de Thoux to 
him, one day, " of any man, in your neighbor- 
hood, of the name of Karris?" 

"There is an old fellow, of that name, lives 
not far from my father's place," said George. 
" We never have had much intercourse with him, 
though." 

" He is a large slave-owner, I believe," said 
Madame de Thoux, with a manner which seemed 
to betray more interest than she was exactly wil- 
ling to show. 

"He is," said George, looking rather surprised 
at her manner. 

"Did you ever know of his having — perhaps 
you may have heard of his having — a mulatto 
boy, named George?" 

"0, certainly, — George Harris, — I know him 
well ; he married a servant of my mover's, but 
has escaped, now, to Canada." 

"He has?" said Madame de Thoux, quickly. 
"Thank God!" 

George looked a surprised inquiry, but said 
nothing. 

Madame de Thoux leaned her head on her 
hand, and burst into tears. 

"He is my brother!" she said. 

"Madame!" said George, with a strong ac- 
cent of surprise. 

"Yes," said Madame de Thoux, lifting her 
head proudly, and wiping her tears ; " Mr. Shelby, 
George Harris is my brother !" 

" i am perfectly astonished," said George, 
pushing back his chair a pace or two, and looking 
at Madame de Thoux. 

" I was sold to the South when he was a boy," 
said she. " I was bought by a good and gener- 
ous man. He took me witft him to the West 
Indies, set me free, and married me. It is but 
lately that he died ; and I was coming up to Ken- 
tucky, to see if I could find and redeem my 
brother." 

" I have heard him speak of a sister Emily, 
that was sold South," said George. 

" Yes, indeed ! I am the one," said Madame de 
Thoux ; — " tell me what sort of a — " 

" A very fine young man," said George, " not- 
withstanding the curse of slavery that lay on 
him. He sustained a first-rate character, both 
for intelligence and principle. I know, you 
see," he said; "because he married in our 
family." 

" What sort of a girl?" said Madame de Thoux, 
eagerly. 

" A treasure," said George ; " a beautiful, in- 
telligent, amiable girl. Very pious. My mother 
had brought her up, and trained her as carefully, 



almost, as a daughter. She could read and write 
embroider and sew, beautifully ; and was a beauti 
ful singer." 

" Was she born in your house?" said Madame 
de Thoux. 

" No. Father bought her once, in one of his 
trips to New Orleans, and brought her up as a 
present to mother. She was about eight or nine 
years old, then. Father would never tell mother 
what he gave for her ; but, the other day, in look- 
ing over his old papers, we came across the bill 
of sale. He paid an extravagant sum for her, to 
be sure. I suppose on account of her extraordi- 
nary beauty." 

George sat with his back to Cassy, and did not 
see the absorbed expression of her countenance 
as he was giving these details. 

At this point in the story, she touched his arm 
and, with a face perfectly white with interest 
said, " Do you know the names of the people hi 
bought her of?" 

" A man of the name of Simmons, I think, was 
the principal in the transaction. At least, ] 
think that was the name on the bill of sale." 

"0, my God!" said Cassy, and fell insensible 
on the floor of the cabin. 

George was wide awake now, and so was Mad- 
ame de Thoux. Though neither of them could 
conjecture what was the cause of Cassy's faints 
ing, still they made all the tumult which is prop 
er in such cases ; — George upsetting a wash- 
pitcher, and breaking two tumblers, in the warmth 
of his humanity ; and various ladies in the cabin, 
hearing that somebody had fainted, crowded the 
state-room door, and kept out all the air they 
possibly could, so that, on the whole, everything 
was done that could be expected. 

Poor Cassy, when she recovered, turned her 
face to the wall, and wept and sobbed like a 
child, — perhaps, mother, you can tell what she 
was thinking of! Perhaps you cannot, — but 
she felt as sure, in that hour, that God had had 
mercy on her, and that she should see her daugh- 
ter, as she did, months afterwards, — when — 
but we anticipate. 



CHAPTER XLIII. 



RESULTS. 



The rest of our story is soon told. George 
Shelby, interested, as any other young man might 
be, by the romance of the incident, no less than 
by feelings of humanity, was at the pains to send 
to Cassy the bill of sale of Eliza, whose date and 
name all corresponded with her own knowledge 
of facts, and left no doubt upon her mind as to 
the identity of her child. It remained now only 
for her to trace out the path of the fugitives. 

Madame de Thoux and she, thus drawn together 
by the singular coincidence of their fortunes, 
proceeded immediately to Canada, and began a 
tour of inquiry among the stations, where the 
numerous fugitives from slavery are located. At 
Amherstberg they found the missionary with 
whom George and Eliza had taken shelter, on 
their first arrival in Canada ; and through him 
were enabled to trace the family to Montreal. 

George and Eliza had now been five years free. 
George had found constant occupation in the shof 
of a worthy machinist, where he had been earn- 
ing a competent support for his family, which, in 



LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 



159 



the mean time, had been increased by the addition 
6J another daughter. 

Little Harry — a fine bright boy — had been 
pat to a good school, and was making rapid pro- 
ficiency in knowledge. 

The worthy pastor of the station, in Amherst- 
berg, where George had first landed, was so much 
interested in the statements of Madame de Thoux 
and Cassy, that he yielded to the solicitations of 
the former, to accompany them to Montreal, in 
their search, — she bearing all the expense of the 

>eiition. 

r The scene now changes to a small, neat tene- 
ment, in the outskirts of Montreal ; the time, 
evening. A cheerful fire blazes on the hearth ; a 
tea-table, covered with a snowy cloth, stands pre- 
pared for the evening meal. In one corner of the 
room was a table covered with a green cloth, 
where was an open writing-desk, pens, paper, and 
over it a shelf of well-selected books. 

This was George's study. The same zeal for 
self-improvement, which led him to steal the 
much-coveted arts of reading and writing, amid 
all the toils and discouragements of his early life, 
still led him to devote all his leisure time to self 
cultivation. 

At this j resent time, he is seated at the table, 
making notjs from a volume of the family library 
he has been reading. 

"Come, George," says Eliza, "you've been 
gone all day. Do put down that book, and let 's 
talk, while I 'm getting tea, — do." 

And little Eliza seconds the effort, by toddling 
up to her father, and trying to pull the book out 
df his hand, and install herself on his knee as a 
substitute. 

" 0, you little witch!" says George, yielding, 
as,, in such circumstances, man always must. 

"That's right," says Eliza, as she begins to 
cut a loaf of bread. A little older she looks ; 
her form a little fuller ; her air more matronly 
than of yore ; but evidently contented and happy 
as woman need be. 

" Harry, my boy, how did you come on in that 
sura, to-day?" says George, as he laid his hand 
an his son's head. 

Harry has lost his long curls ; but he can never 
lose those eyes and eyelashes, and that fine, bold 
brow, that flushes with triumph, as he answers, 
" I did it, every bit of it, myself, father ; and no- 
body helped me !" 

" That 's right," says his father ; " depend on 
yourself, my son. You have a better chance than 
eyer your poor father had." 

At this moment, there is a rap at the door ; 
and Eliza goes and opens it. The delighted — 
" Why ! — this you?" — calls up her husband ; 
and the good pastor of Amherstberg is welcomed. 
There are two more women with him, and Eliza 
asks them to sit down. 

Now, if the truth must be told, the honest 
Pastor had arranged a little programme, accord- 
ing to which this affair was to develop itself; 
and, on the way up, all had very cautiously and 
prudently exhorted each other not to let things 
out, except according to previous arrangement. 

What was the good man's consternation, there- 
fore, just as he had motioned to the ladies to be 
seated, and was taking out his pocket-handkcr- 
<#iief to wipe his mouth, so as to proceed to his 
introductory speech in good order, when Madame 
de Thoux upset the whole plan, by throwing her 
arms, around George's neck, and lettimi all out at 



once, by saying, " 0, George! don't you know 
me? I 'm your sister Emily." 

Cassy had seated herself more composedly, and 
would have carried on her part very well, had 
not little Eliza suddenly appeared before her, in 
exact shape and form, every outline and curl, 
just as her daughter was when she saw her last. 
The little thing peered up in her face ; and Cassy 
caught her up in her arms, pressed her to her 
bosom, saying, what at the moment she really 
believed, " Darling, I 'm your mother !" 

In fact, it was a troublesome matter to do up 
exactly in proper order ; but the good pastor, at 
last, succeeded in getting everybody quiet, and 
delivering the speech with which he had intended 
to open the exercises ; and in which, at last, he 
succeeded so well that his whole audience were 
sobbing about him in a manner that ought to 
satisfy any orator, ancient or modern. 

They knelt together, and the good man prayed 3 
— for there are some feelings so agitated and 
tumultuous, that they can find rest only by being 
poured into the bosom of Almighty love, — and 
then, rising up, the new-found family embraced 
each other with a holy trust in Him, who from 
such peril and dangers, and by such unknowr 
ways, had brought them together. 

The note-book of a missionary, among tho 
Canadian fugitives, contains truth stranger thar 
fiction. How can it be otherwise, when a system 
prevails which whirls families, and scatters theii 
members, as the wind whirls and scatters the 
leaves of autumn ? These shores of refuge, like 
the eternal shore, often unite again, in glad com- 
munion, hearts that for long years have mourned 
each other as lost. And affecting beyond expres 
sion is the earnestness with which every nevj 
arrival among them is met, if, perchance, it maj 
bring tidings of mother, sister, child or wife, still 
lost to view in the shadows of slavery. 

Deeds of heroism are wrought here more than 
those of romance, when, defying torture, and 
braving death itself, the fugitive voluntarily 
threads his way back to the terrors and perils of 
that dark land, that he mav bring out his sibter, 
or mother, or wife. 

One young man, of whim a missionary has 
told us, twice re-captured, and suffering shameful 
stripes for his heroism, had escaped again ; and, 
in a letter which we heard read, tells his friends 
that he is going back a third time, that he may, 
at last, bring away his' sister. My good sir, is 
this man a hero, or a criminal ? Would not you 
do as much for your sister ? And can you blame 
him ? 

But, to return to our friends, whom we left 
wiping their eyes, and recovering themselves 
from too great and sudden a joy. They are now 
seated around the social board, and are getting 
decidedly companionable ; only that Cassy, who 
keeps little Eliza on her lap, occasionally squeezes 
the little thing in a manner that rather astonishes 
her, and obstinately refuses to have her mouth 
stuffed with cake to the extent the little one 
desires, — alleging, what the child rather wonders 
at, that she has got something better than cake, 
and does n't want it. 

And, indeed, in two or three days, such a 
change has passed over Cass}', that our readers 
would scarcely know her. The despairing, hag- 
gard expression of her face had given way to one 
of gentle trust. She seemed to sink, at once, into 
the bosom of tho family, and take the little ones 



1G0 



UNCLE TOM S CABIN : OR, 



into her heart, as something for which it long had 
waited. Indeed, her love seemed to flow more 
naturally to the little Eliza than to her own 
daughter ; for she was the exact image and body 
of the child whom she had lost. The little one 
was a flowery bond between mother and daughter, 
through whom grew up acquaintanceship and 
affection. Eliza's steady, consistent piety, regu- 
lated by the constant reading of the sacred word, 
made her a proper guide for the shattered and 
wearied mind of her mother. Cassy yielded, at 
once, and with her whole soul, to every good 
influence, and became a devout and tender Chris- 
tian. 

After a day or two, Madame de Thoux told her 
brother more particularly of her affairs. The 
death of her husband had left her an ample for- 
tune, which she generously offered to share with 
the family. When she asked George what way 
she could best apply it for him, he answered, 
" Give me an education, Emily ; that has always 
been my heart's desire. Then I can do all the 
rest." 

On mature deliberation, it was decided that the 
whole family should go, for some years, to France ; 
whither they sailed, carrying Emmeline with them. 

The good looks of the latter won the affection 
of the first mate of the vessel ; and, shortly after 
entering the port, she became his wife. 

George remained four years at a French uni- 
versity, and, applying himself with an uninter- 
mitted zeal, obtained a very thorough education. 

Political trou